CDC: Swine flu made 57 million Americans ill
By The Post's medical correspondent David Brown:
About 57 million Americans, or slightly over 18 percent of the population, have contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza since April, federal public health officials said Friday.
About 11,690 people have died from the viral infection, also known as swine flu. Nearly 260,000 have been hospitalized. Adults ages 18 to 64 have been hit much harder than either children or the elderly. They account for 58 percent of the infections and hospitalizations and 76 percent of the deaths.
This demographic profile of the H1N1 pandemic is markedly different from that of seasonal flu, in which 60 percent of hospitalizations and 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older. Epidemiologists believe the pandemic virus is distantly related to a strain that circulated more than 40 years ago. People alive then who were infected with that strain might have partial immunity to the new one.
| February 12, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
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