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Younger Age of More Severe Swine Flu Cases Worries Experts
Date:5/6/2009

cher Judy Trunnell was directly caused by the H1N1 flu, noting that she also had unspecified "chronic underlying conditions."

Late Tuesday, reports surfaced that the government would ask Americans to get three vaccinations for the upcoming flu season -- one for the seasonal flu and two for this new strain of H1N1. However, on Wednesday Besser said that it was premature to make that decision.

"Before a vaccine is administered there are a series of studies that need to be taken, these are under the direction of the National Institutes of Health and approved by the Food and Drug Administration," he said. "They need to do studies to determine how much the antigen needs to be in the vaccine to stimulate protection."

"They will also need to see -- do you get sufficient immunity from one dose, do you need more than one dose," Besser said. "With each vaccine it's different, with different age groups it's different. It's really early to say how many vaccines someone is going to need until those studies are done," he said. "Hopefully, we will be able to find a vaccine that worked with one dose."

Besser said that, as of Wednesday, the CDC was reporting 1,487 probable and confirmed cases in 44 states. "That's an increase of around 400 from yesterday. There are around 850 probable cases and 642 confirmed cases. The confirmed cases are in 41 states," he said.

In addition, there are 35 confirmed hospitalizations from the flu and an additional 17 probably caused by flu, Besser said. Much of the increase in cases is due to catching up on testing, but there is a real increase in disease too, he said.

Besser noted that in Mexico, the outbreak's epicenter, the flu is disappearing in some areas and popping up in others, which is what will be seen in the United States as well.

"When you see a large outbreak or epidemic it is frequently made up of a series of smaller outbreaks and epidemics. What they are seeing in Mex
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