H1N1 Peak

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Statistics posted online yesterday by the CDC indicate that the number of H1N1 infections seems to have peaked for the fall flu season. The number of children and teenagers dying from H1N1 continues to rise, however. According to the New York Times, "An additional twenty-seven deaths in lab-confirmed cases of it were reported among children and teenagers in the week ended Nov. 21, raising the total to 234 since April. In a typical flu season, there are fewer than 100 deaths among that segment of the population."

"The H1N1 flu seems to be diminishing both in terms of geographic spread and the number of emergency room visits and reported diagnoses," says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. "However, last week was the worst ever for children's deaths. There are two major questions that arise here: first, is H1N1 going to recrudesce in some way, as often happens with a new viral strain? We should not discard unused H1N1 vaccine doses, since it is possible that the virus could reappear in the spring. And second, what will become of the seasonal, H3N2 flu, which was crowded out by the novel H1N1? Will it slip into the vacuum left when H1N1 subsides?"