CDC: ‘Beginning To See Some Declines In Swine Flu’
Reuters: "The pandemic of swine flu may be hitting a peak in the United States, health experts said on Friday. But they stressed that influenza, especially a pandemic, could hit several peaks in a single season. They said weeks or months more of disease could be expected. 'We are beginning to see some declines in flu activity around the country but there is still a lot of influenza,' the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Anne Schuchat told a news conference" (Fox, 11/20).
The Wall Street Journal: "Flu activity is widespread in 43 states now, down from 46 last week and 48 two weeks ago. Flu cases also appear to have peaked in the U.K. and parts of Western Europe, but are on the rise in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, the World Health Organization said. But pandemics occur in waves. In the 1957-58 flu pandemic, one wave peaked in the fall and was followed by a second wave in January" (McKay, 11/23).
The New York Times reports that Schuchat: "chose her words carefully, saying: 'I wish I knew if we had hit the peak. Even if a peak has occurred, half the people who are going to get sick haven't gotten sick yet.' Dr. Schuchat also noted that even when new infections topped out, hospitalizations and deaths were still on the way up, because most took place days or weeks later" (McNeil Jr., 11/20).
AFP: "despite the figures, the death toll continued to mount. 'This past week 21 influenza associated pediatric deaths were reported to us, 15 of those were confirmed to be due to H1N1.' And with months to go in the normal flu season -- December to May -- experts are braced for more bad news. 'We may have weeks and months of a lot of disease ahead of us,' said Schuchat, who is head of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases" (11/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.