CDC: 1 in 6 Americans sickened with swine flu - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

CDC: 1 in 6 Americans sickened with swine flu

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WASHINGTON. - The Centers for Disease Control has released new estimates on just how widespread and deadly the H1N1 flu has been for Americans.

Chances are, someone you know has been infected with the swine flu this year.

The CDC now estimates 1 in 6 Americans, that's nearly 50-million people have been sickened and the data continues to show that this is a largely a young person's disease.

"Many times more children and younger adults unfortunately had been hospitalized or killed by H1N1 influenza than occurs in a usual flu season," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden.

According to the new numbers, nearly 200,000 have been hospitalized and nearly 10,000 have died since the outbreak began in April; 1,100 of those deaths have been children.

There is good news as cases do seem to be decreasing, but flu season typically lasts through May.

"The more people who get vaccinated, the lower the likelihood will be of additional cases or third wave," Frieden said.

Opportunities to get the vaccine are opening up in many parts of the country as the CDC reported it has added 12 million more doses in the past week, bringing the total supply to 85 million.

Health officials at Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also say the death rate from H1N1 is four times higher for American Indians and Alaska natives than for any other Americans.

Health officials say those same groups also have higher rates of diabetes, asthma and other conditions that put them at high risk.

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