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CDC: Millions in U.S. had H1N1 last spring

ATLANTA, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Researchers using a computer model estimated between 1.8 million and 5.7 million people in the United States had H1N1 flu last spring, a health official said.

"A paper that just came out online in Emerging Infectious Diseases by Carrie Reed, of the CDC and colleagues here and at Harvard University, estimated the burden of disease in the spring from April when this virus first emerged to I think it's July 23," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of immunization and respiratory disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters at a briefing Thursday in Atlanta.

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There are 24.8 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine available for states to order, and a growing number of states have sufficient doses to initiate school clinics and some mass H1N1 vaccination clinics. Many doctor's offices are beginning to get doses, Schuchat said.

There are concerns about people having trouble finding anti-virals. A few weeks ago, the secretary ordered 300,000 courses of the liquid Tamiflu for children to be shipped to the states.

"We know there are also capsules of the anti-viral medicine," Schuchat said. "We're working closely with the manufacturers to understand the supply horizon. What we think is going on is really much more of a spot shortage that here and there, there's a pharmacy that doesn't have usually the liquid formulation. There is quite bit of the capsule formulations. Pharmacists can use the capsules to adapt dosing that is appropriate for children."

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