In a months long CBS News investigation, state-by-state results of tests for H1N1 found that most cases were negative. The Wall Street Journal’s Alicia Mundy and Politico’s Fred Barbash spoke with Sharyl Attkisson about these startling findings.
H1N1 flu declared a national emergency
President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the H1N1 influenza a national emergency, giving doctors and medical facilities greater leeway in responding to the flu pandemic.
Obama signed the declaration late Friday, which the White House said allows medical treatment facilities to better handle a surge in flu patients by waiving federal requirements on a case-by-case basis.
“The foundation of our national approach to the H1N1 flu has been preparedness at all levels — personal, business, and government — and this proclamation helps that effort by advancing our overall response capability,” the White House said in a statement.
The flu has infected millions of Americans and killed nearly 100 children in the U.S. The chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that over a thousand people have died as a result, with 46 states reporting widespread H1N1 activity.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen more than 1,000 deaths and 20,000 hospitalizations,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC. “We expect it to occur in waves, but we can’t predict when those waves will happen.”
Sixty million Americans have been vaccinated against the seasonal flu this year, but an additional vaccine against H1N1 has been in short supply. About 120 million doses were expected to be made available by the middle of October, though only 11 million doses have been shipped to health departments for use.
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Most of the people who have died from the new pandemic H1N1 flu had underlying conditions such as asthma, but 45 per cent seemed healthy, according to the largest study yet of US cases.
Children with sickle cell and other blood diseases have a special risk from the swine flu, just as they do from seasonal influenza, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday.
She said hypodermic versions of the flu vaccine — suitable for babies, people with asthma and people 50 and older — will be available this week.
Schuchat said the CDC collected detailed data on 1,400 adults and 500 children hospitalised with swine flu in 10 states. The findings confirm that most serious cases and deaths have been in people under the age of 65. Full Story