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As Swine Flu Cases Mount, CDC Says U.S. Hasn't 'Dodged a Bullet'
Date:5/8/2009

But the estimated 2,500 infections continue to be mild and recovery fairly quick

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- The swine flu outbreak in the United States is far from over, with hundreds of new cases being reported each day, federal health officials said Friday.

"I want to address an issue that's been concerning me, that has to do with a sense of having dodged a bullet, a sense that this is over," Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during an afternoon teleconference. "While we have seen a lot of encouraging news in terms of severity, we continue to see hundreds and hundreds of new cases each day," he said.

The good news, Besser said, is that the infections continue to cause only mild illness, similar to the seasonal flu, and virtually all patients are recovering quickly and fully.

As of Friday, there were approximately 2,500 confirmed and probable cases in 43 states and the District of Columbia, Besser said. "There are 1,639 confirmed cases in 42 states and D.C. We have approximately 850 probable cases reported nationwide," he said.

Fifty-seven people have been hospitalized, he said, adding that, of 26 hospitalized patients, 58 percent had an underlying health condition; seven patients had asthma.

And while the swine flu -- technically known as the H1N1 virus -- is similar to seasonal flu, there are some important differences, Besser said. "One thing we are seeing, unlike seasonal flu, a higher percentage seem to be having vomiting and diarrhea," he said.

Meanwhile, a new Harvard University survey finds that many Americans have taken measures to protect themselves and family members from the disease.

For instance, 67 percent of those surveyed said they or someone in their home are washing their hands or using a hand sanitizer more frequently, and 55 percent said they've taken steps to stay at home if they or a
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