World News

H1N1 cases, demand for vaccine both on rise

Posted October 23, 2009

— Nearly 5,000 people have reportedly died from swine flu since it emerged this year and developed into a global epidemic, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Since most countries have stopped counting individual swine flu cases, the figure is considered an underestimate.

WHO said there were 4,999 total deaths through Oct. 18, most of them in the Western Hemisphere. The figure was up 264 from a week earlier.

As infections increase, demand for the vaccine to prevent them has also grown. County health departments across the Triangle have quickly run of out supply any time they open a clinic. In Orange County Friday, more than 100 shots were distributed in under 10 minutes.

In the United States, swine flu caused at least 95 children's deaths since April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Forty-six states now have widespread flu activity, the CDC said, adding that only Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and South Carolina are without widespread flu.

While most people recover from swine flu without needing medical treatment, the virus strikes children particularly hard.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of hospitalizations and nearly a quarter of deaths due to swine flu are in children and adults under 25.

An Associated Press-GfK poll found that a third of American parents don't want their children to get the swine flu shot, with many citing concerns about side effects.

Of the thousands of people who have so far received the swine flu vaccine, the most commonly reported side effects have been soreness where the injection was given and minor flu symptoms.


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  • daisy Oct 23, 2009

    I have grandbabies 1 and 2 years old. I am so worried about this since it seems to be hitting little one the hardest but I am also worried about this vaccine.

  • Here kitty kitty Oct 23, 2009

    It might be H1N1, so let's say it is, hype the numbers and worry people even more. I'll be as glad when this is over as I will be when the 2012 elections come.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 23, 2009

    Scared to death. NOT! My wife wanted me to get the flu shot. Told her I haven't taken a flu shot in 20 years. Stupidity? You be the judge. 5,000 people dead worldwide. About 100 or so of those from the civilized world. Of those 100, most had pre-existing conditions. What's the big deal? It takes a long time to develop, get approval, and mass produce a new flu shot. And when you get the normal flu shot, it was created using the previous year's strain of flu. So if there is a new strain of flu, you most likely aren't protected.

    As I said, my opinion of getting immunized against the flu would flip flop with the flip of a coin. Not a big deal in my book.

  • Orange RN Oct 23, 2009

    I do not see this reporting as hype: since August 30, the start of the 2009 – 2010 flu season, the US has had more than 1000 influenza deaths reported, about 100 of these among kids under age 18. Very unusual for the time of year and the age affected.

    US swine flu deaths surpass 1,000
    ATLANTA — Federal health officials say swine flu is more widespread now than it's ever been.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there as much illness now as the winter peak of regular flu seasons. CDC officials said Friday that swine flu has resulted in more than 1,000 deaths so far.
    CDC officials say nearly 100 pediatric swine flu deaths have been reported.

    Dig deeper WRAL!

  • Thornedwolf Oct 23, 2009

    When will this story end?

  • Orange RN Oct 23, 2009

    The biggest differences between novel H1N1 and seasonal flu appears to be:

    Those under age 60 or so do not have any immunity to this strain, so a greater total number of people are at risk of infection this year. This can overwhelm health services when medical care is needed.

    This flu affects young people more than the elderly. Young people in hospital and dying are much more visible and result in more American ‘life years lost’ than an elderly person’s death. (Example- a 79 year life expectancy- a 70 year old’s death loses 9 years, a 20 year old’s death loses 59). This has a potentially big societal impact.

    This flu appears to cause a rapidly fatal viral pneumonia in the unlucky few. Even among some previously healthy persons. This is extremely rare with seasonal flu.

    We have just started, flu is unpredictable. We won’t really know the impact until this outbreak is over.

  • hcain73 Oct 23, 2009

    35000 to 40000 people die each year from the seasonal flu. I do not want to see anyone die, but please keep this number above in mind as you look at the comments posted.

  • davework Oct 23, 2009

    More hysteria from the media. Many die from the flu every year. H1N1 is a little different with lots of attached media hype...

  • sonoluminescence Oct 23, 2009

    Wow, this is a very reasonable article on the state of the H1N1 flu and flu vaccinations. Nice job!

  • davidkresge1 Oct 23, 2009

    I would be willing to bet that the regular, seasonal flu has killed many more. The governments are handling H1N1 in such a way that causes unnecessary panic. Education and prevention is wonderful. But it's just not that big of a deal when viewed in a broader scale.