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The latest on H1N1 flu from the Harvard Health Letter
Date:10/8/2009

ic advisory group to the White House.

Lipsitch said data collected in the United States show estimates for the death rate for H1N1 range between one death for every 2,000 symptomatic cases and one death for every 14,000 (which in percentage terms works out to 0.007%). In comparison, the death rate for seasonal flu is roughly one death for every 1,000 to 2,000 cases.

"But that's not the only point of comparison," said Lipsitch. "Seasonal flu tends to symptomatically infect (very roughly) between 5% and 20% of the population each year, whereas pandemics tend to cause symptomatic infections in 25% to 40% of the population. This H1N1 epidemic may not come up to that level, but it is a potential difference between pandemic and regular seasonal flu."

In its H1N1 coverage, the Harvard Health Letter gives several prevention recommendations:

 
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Don't shake hands.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or into a tissue.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms.
  • Stock up on supplies (canned food, bottled water, some medicines) in case of social-distancing restrictions.

You can get more advice from Harvard Health Publications' new Swine Flu video: http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/swine-flu-precautions.htm.
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