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Category: Infectious Diseases
While the H1N1 flu strain has accounted for nearly every case of influenza identified this season, U.S. health officials said on Friday that national infection rates are continuing to drop.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 14 states are reporting widespread swine flu activity, down from 25 states last week at 48 states in October, HealthDay News reports.
On Thursday CDC officials reported that the virus had affected nearly 50 million Americans, causing more than 200,000 hospitalizations and almost 10,000 deaths.
Unlike the seasonal flu, which typically hits older adults the hardest, the swine flu has killed approximately 8,000 children and young adults.
"By November 14, many times more children and younger adults have been hospitalized or killed by H1N1 influenza than occurs during a usual flu season," said Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC.
Although Frieden noted the drop in H1N1 infections, he said it's impossible to predict how the virus will affect the population in the winter or spring. "The truth is we don't know," he said.
According to the news source, there are 85 million doses of the swine flu vaccine currently available, 12 million more than last week.
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