Scientists: Swine Flu could be deadly for 90,000 people - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

INSIDE: Frequently Asked Questions about Swine Flu

Scientists: Swine Flu could be deadly for 90,000 people

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  • Swine Flu FAQ's

    Swine Flu FAQ's

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    What can I give my child as far as supplements that help boost her immune system in the event of a swine flu outbreak in her school? A- Other than normal healthy diet there are no known supplements to>>
  • Get smart about swine flu for back-to-school

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WASHINGTON. - As schools reopen, federal health officials responded to the first specific predictions of the impact of swine flu.

"The next few weeks and months will likely be a very challenging time," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC in Atlanta.

Scientists advising the president say a plausible scenario has swine flu infecting up to half the U.S. population.

Doctors' offices and hospitals would be filled to capacity.

For as many as 90,000 people, more than double the normal flu season toll, the H1N1 strain could be fatal. Deaths are concentrated among children and young adults.

The virus has claimed the lives of more than 500 Americans so far.

Governors are working to track cases closely.

"We have every reason to believe these numbers will go back up as school comes back into session," said Martin O'Malley, Governor of Maryland.

Health officials worry about recent polls showing Americans shrugging off concern.

"We know that right now there is a lot of complacency. On the continuum of being paralyzed with fear and complacency, we've got to strike a balance," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Officials urge businesses to loosen sick day rules so workers don't feel pressure to come in.

They urge schools to come up with alternative ways to get lesson plans, even subsidizing school lunches to students who are home sick.

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