55 Million Americans Had H1N1 Swine Flu
New CDC Estimates Also Show 61 Million in U.S. Have Been Vaccinated
WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Jan. 15, 2010 -- The CDC estimates that 55 million Americans became sick
with H1N1 swine flu between April and mid-December 2009 and roughly 11,000
people died of the disease.
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These numbers represent a middle range in CDC estimates. The actual number
of swine flu cases could be as low as 39 million and as high as 80 million
cases during this time period, government officials say.
- Between 173,000 and 362,000 Americans were hospitalized with H1N1 flu
between April and mid-December.
- Between 7,880 and 16,460 H1N1-related deaths occurred.
- Roughly 1,200 children and teens, 8,600 adults under age 65, and 1,300
adults over 65 died from H1N1.
The figures were reported Friday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality
The report also included new figures on H1N1 vaccination coverage in the
U.S. between October 2009, when the first vaccines became available, and
By the end of December, an estimated 61 million people, or roughly 20% of
the U.S. population, had been vaccinated.
Slightly less than one in three people in the initial target group received
the vaccine. This included pregnant women, people living in households with
babies under 6 months of age, children and adults ages 6 months to 24 years,
and older adults with certain health conditions.
An estimated 29% of children and teens between the ages of 6 months and 18
years were vaccinated.
There is now plenty of vaccine, and the CDC's Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP) now has no restrictions on who should be
"Now that there is ample supply of vaccine, efforts should continue to
improve vaccination coverage among persons in the initial target groups, as
well as to offer vaccination to the rest of the U.S. population including those
aged 65 and over," the report states.
Influenza activity has declined in the U.S. in recent weeks, but the report
notes that cases of H1N1 flu, including life-threatening cases, are still
Among people who had not yet been vaccinated who responded to a survey
conducted between Dec. 27, 2009, and Jan. 2, 2010, 11% said they definitely
intended to be vaccinated and 22% said they probably would be vaccinated.
"The epidemiology of H1N1 influenza over the months ahead is unknown, but
another rise in incidence, as occurred during the winter of the 1957-1958
pandemic, remains possible," the report notes. "Vaccination remains the best
way to prevent influenza infection and influenza-related hospitalizations and
SOURCES: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Jan. 15, 2010.
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