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CDC: 2009 H1N1 Flu Continues to Impact Young People
October 20, 2009
Health care providers urged to treat flu symptoms with antivirals
The CDC held the first of their two weekly H1N1 briefings today and said that young people continue to be hit especially hard by the 2009 H1N1 virus. More than half of the hospitalizations from 2009 H1N1 flu reported by 27 states from September 1st and October 10th were people age 24 and younger. About 23 percent of the deaths reported from 28 states during this period were in this age group.
In addition, about 90 percent of the hospitalizations and deaths from the 2009 H1N1 flu are in people age 64 and younger. With seasonal flu, we usually see the reverse – 60 percent of the hospitalizations and 90 percent of deaths from seasonal flu are in people age 65 and older.
Yesterday, the CDC circulated an alert reminding health care providers about early treatment of flu for patients at increased risk of complications. The alert can be found here. The CDC urges health care providers to start antiviral treatment as soon as possible when flu is suspected in these patients at risk and not wait for laboratory confirmation.
To help get antivirals to states, 300,000 additional doses of liquid Tamiflu for children were recently distributed through the Strategic National Stockpile. In addition, many pharmacies can create doses appropriate for children from existing supplies through a process called “compounding.” Many drug stores across the country, including Walgreens and Wal-Mart, are compounding antivirals locally to meet the needs of young children.
The CDC will hold its next H1N1 vaccine briefing on Friday, October 23, 2009. The briefing may be viewed at www.flu.gov/live.