Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology: H1N1 May Hit Half of All Americans


Rob Stein
Seattle Times
September 1, 209

[efoods]Swine flu could infect half the U.S. population this fall and winter, hospitalizing up to 1.8 million people and causing as many as 90,000 deaths — more than double the number that occur in an average flu season, according to an estimate from a presidential panel released Monday.

The virus, clinically called H1N1, could cause symptoms in 60 million to 120 million people, more than half of whom might seek medical attention, and could peak before a vaccine is widely available, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimated in an 86-page report assessing the government’s response to the first influenza pandemic in 41 years.

Although most cases probably would be mild, up to 300,000 people could require intensive care, which could tie up all those beds in some parts of the country at the peak of the outbreak, the council said.

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