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Swine Flu Hits Sick People the Hardest: CDC
Date:5/20/2009

Meanwhile, vaccine won't be ready for months, World Health Organization says

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Underscoring the belief that the new H1N1 swine flu is no more dangerous than regular flu, U.S. health officials said Tuesday that those hospitalized with the infection who have underlying health problems fare worse than otherwise healthy people who also have been hospitalized.

And that mirrors trends seen with seasonal -- or regular -- flu, officials said.

In an early release of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, California health authorities assessed 30 people hospitalized for the H1N1 swine flu. One difference between these patients and patients with seasonal flu was their average age. At 27, the swine flu patients were much younger than most patients with seasonal flu who required hospitalization.

Health officials in both the United States and abroad have previously reported that the H1N1 swine flu seems to be targeting teens and young adults, unlike the regular flu, which usually strikes hardest at the elderly and the very young.

Also, about two-thirds of the hospitalized patients in California had at least one underlying medical condition that put them at higher risk for influenza and its complications, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's interim deputy director for science and public health program, said during an afternoon teleconference. "The most common conditions were chronic lung disease, conditions associated with immunosuppression, chronic heart disease, obesity and pregnancy. There were five pregnant women in this series of patients," she said.

"Although the majority of hospitalized people infected with this new H1N1 virus recovered without complications, certain people did have severe and prolonged disease," Schuchat said. "None of these patients died. There are still some of these patients in the hosp
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