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CDC: Monitoring H1N1 virus and vaccine data

Category: General Health

Amidst a fervor of concern over the potency of the swine flu infection, the Centers for Disease Control tempered any lingering agitation in its weekly update.

CDC Director, Dr Thomas Frieden commented today at a news conference that the H1N1 virus, also dubbed "swine flu" has not developed into a more deadly disease. He added that 36 U.S. children who died in the past year after catching the flu experienced exacerbating conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, VOA news reports.

This update is concurrent with announcements from Switzerland and China that the respective countries have developed potent H1N1 vaccines that are effective after one dose; experts previously held that two doses would be necessary for prevention of the infection.

Frieden told the news source that the CDC anticipates reviewing the data from Sinovac Biotech, the engineers of the vaccine from China, and Novartis, the Swiss firm responsible for the second one-dose vaccine. However, Freiden stressed a focus on working with U.S. drug companies on their vaccinations, which at present require two doses.

The CDC director commented that a vaccine, which will be available in the U.S. by mid-October, will be administered by state and local governments.

The agency identifies young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who have chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, hepatic, hematological, neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders as high risk groups.

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