Disturbing trend considering official flu season has just begun and vaccine production is lagging
Quote from Associated Press
The swine flu is causing an unprecedented amount of illness for this early in the fall, with the deaths of 11 more children reported in the past week. And less vaccine than expected will be ready by month's end, federal health officials said Friday.Of the 86 children who have died since the new swine flu arose last spring, 43 deaths have been reported in September and early October alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. That's a startling number because in some past winters, the CDC has counted 40 or 50 child deaths for the entire flu season — and no one knows how long this swine flu outbreak will last.
"These are very sobering statistics," said the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat.
Also surprising, about half of the child deaths reported since Sept. 1 have been teenagers. Until now, much of the attention has focused on younger children.
Overall, what CDC calls the 2009 H1N1 flu is causing widespread disease in 41 states, and about 6 percent of all doctor visits are for flu-like illnesses, levels not normally seen until much later in the fall.