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Swine Flu Infection Rates Continue to Fall
Date:12/11/2009

Just 14 states reporting widespread H1N1 activity, down from 25 states last week, CDC says

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Swine flu infection rates continue to drop, U.S. health officials said Friday, with only 14 states reporting widespread H1N1 activity, down from 25 states last week and 48 states at the height of the outbreak in October.

Virtually all of the influenza viruses identified so far continue to be H1N1 swine flu virus. And the H1N1 vaccine continues to be a good match for the virus, as do the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on its Web site.

The states still reporting widespread H1N1 swine flu activity are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, the CDC said.

On Thursday, CDC officials reported that the H1N1 swine flu has sickened nearly 50 million Americans, sent more than 200,000 people to the hospital and killed nearly 10,000 -- more than 8,000 of them children and young adults.

"About 15 percent of the entire country has been infected with H1N1 influenza. That means about one in six people," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during an afternoon press conference.

"That still leaves most people not having been infected and still remaining susceptible to H1N1 influenza," he added.

The swine flu continues to hit children and young adults the hardest, Frieden said. Among those who have died since the virus first surfaced in April, an estimated 1,100 were children and 7,500 were young adults, he noted. This is the reverse of seasonal flu, which tends to strike hardest at people 65 and older.

"By November 14, many times more children and younger adults have been hospitalized or killed by H1N1 influenza than occurs during a u
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