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Swine Flu Wanes, But Future Uncertain
Date:12/17/2009

hit children and young adults the hardest. The CDC estimates that from April, when the swine flu first appeared, to the middle of November, 47 million Americans had come down with the virus.

Over the same eight months, nearly 10,000 people died from the H1N1 flu and the disease sent 213,000 people to the hospital, Frieden said.

"This has been a strain of influenza that's been much harder on children and young adults," Frieden said. "In fact, the number of children and young adults killed through mid-November was five times more than an average flu season."

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of Food and Drugs of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, noted during the press conference that the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is safe.

"We are working with [the] CDC and others to keep a close watch on any unexpected rare serious adverse events that might be related to vaccines," she said. "Now, tens of millions of people have been vaccinated, and I am happy to report that there have not been safety concerns."

Hamburg noted that the FDA has also cracked down on people making money by offering phony cures or protection against the H1N1 flu.

"To date, we have sent over 80 official warnings covering about 145 different products," she said. "We have gotten a large majority of these products removed from commerce."

More information

For more on the H1N1 swine flu, visit Flu.gov.



SOURCES: Dec. 17, 2009, teleconference with Kathleen Sebelius, secretary, U.S. Health and Human Services; Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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