The virus shows no signs of mutating as it continues global trek, officials say
THURSDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 1 million Americans have been infected with the H1N1 swine flu, which continues to produce mild illness and a fairly quick recovery in patients, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
The estimate is based on mathematical modeling, Lyn Finelli, a flu surveillance official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a vaccine advisory meeting in Atlanta, the Associated Press reported.
Nearly 28,000 cases -- about half the cases in the world -- have been reported to the CDC, including 3,065 hospitalizations and 127 deaths, the news service said. By comparison, an estimated 15 million to 60 million Americans are infected with the seasonal flu each year, leading to roughly 36,000 deaths.
Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization said Thursday that the previously undiscovered virus, which first surfaced in mid-April in Mexico, has yet to show any signs of mutating.
Health officials are closely monitoring the H1N1 swine flu virus as it migrates from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season is now under way. Scientists are concerned the virus could mutate as it circulates around the world, becoming more virulent and posing a greater health threat.
"The virus is not mutating for the moment, it is stable," Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said in Moscow, according to Agence France Press, citing Russian news agency reports.
Still, Chan underscored the need to closely monitor the virus' spread around the globe, adding that it was highly "unpredictable."
The WHO last week formally declared a pandemic, triggered by the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus across North America, Australia, South America, Europe and regions beyond.
What makes the H1N1
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