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CDC says H1N1 deaths likely will climb

Oct. 30, 2009 at 5:48 PM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- H1N1 is a younger people's flu with 90 percent of the deaths under the age of 65, with 114 confirmed deaths among children, a U.S. health official said.

"More than two-thirds of the deaths have been children with underlying conditions," Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters in a briefing Friday in Atlanta.

"There's a certain rhythm of flu spread in a community where we see first an increase on the number of cases generally first in children. Then in older people. Then an increase in hospitalizations, then tragically, deaths.The peak in deaths, occurs two to three weeks after the peak in cases. So we are expecting to see, sadly, increasing numbers of deaths."

There are 26.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine available for shipment. The overwhelming majority of the 89 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine have already been given, but vaccine manufacturers report that they'll be providing additional seasonal vaccines in November/December. So far, almost all of the influenza has been H1N1, Frieden said.

"We released 300,000 courses of the anti-viral Tamiflu from the strategic national stockpile. We are releasing an additional 234,000 courses of liquid Tamiflu from the strategic national stockpile. That is the entire supply," Frieden said.

"We have worked with many of the national (drug store) chains, which are willing to compound -- to make the syrup from the adult Tamiflu from capsules -- something safe for a pharmacist to do. Please don't try this at home."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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