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CDC Urges Patience As More Swine Flu Shots Arrive
Date:11/3/2009

ded, with 90 million doses already distributed to providers and 114 million expected to be available through the market by year's end.

However, virtually all of the flu being diagnosed right now is H1N1.

"We're seeing almost no seasonal flu," Frieden said. That doesn't mean the seasonal flu shot won't be needed, however. "What the rest of the season holds, only time will tell," the CDC director said.

Frieden also reiterated the importance of antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu or Relenza, regardless of whether the vaccine is available. That's especially true for people with certain medical troubles, he said.

"For people with asthma and other underlying conditions, it's particularly important to get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available," he said. "If you have fever and cough, get treated promptly. People with asthma account for about one-third of all people hospitalized with H1N1. We know that only half of people with asthma, when they get sick with flu, sought care from a medical provider. If you have asthma or other underlying conditions, seek care promptly."

As always for everyone, the message of the season is wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and stay home if you are sick.

"The flu season lasts till May, and this flu season is unlike any other for at least 50 years," Frieden said. "We don't know what will happen, but we will continue to monitor and do everything we can to prevent or reduce the spread of flu."

More information

There's more on H1N1 influenza at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCE: Nov. 3, 2009, teleconference with Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta


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