KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

U.S. Swine Flu Cases Reach One Million

The Associated Press/Washington Post reported that U.S. health officials on Thursday said they believe as many as 1 million Americans have been infected with H1N1 and "6 percent or more of some urban populations are infected." The estimates were based upon survey data collected by health officials and mathematical modeling.

The article also notes that "as many as 60 million doses of vaccine to protect against the new virus could be ready by September, said Robin Robinson, an official with the federal agency that oversees vaccine manufacture and distribution." But others at the meeting said "that prediction seemed a bit optimistic" (Stobbe, 6/26).

According to the Los Angeles Times, Lyn Finelli, a flu surveillance official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told members of a vaccine advisory committee that while there are nearly 28,000 laboratory-confirmed U.S. cases of the virus have been reported to the CDC, "standard models of viral spread indicate that many times that number have been infected." The seasonal flu typically infects between 15 million to 60 million Americans annually. By this time of year, "[t]he normal seasonal flu virus has virtually disappeared from this country, as would be expected. But the novel H1N1 virus is continuing to spread, and now accounts for 98% of all cases" (Los Angeles Times, 6/25).

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