Health officials: Swine flu hitting early

(AP) - As the swine flu outbreak strikes the U.S.early and hard, health officials note a worrisome number of childdeaths and warn that supplies of vaccine will remain scarce for atleast the next couple

News 12 Staff

Oct 18, 2009, 12:58 AM

Updated 5,393 days ago

Share:

(AP) - As the swine flu outbreak strikes the U.S.early and hard, health officials note a worrisome number of childdeaths and warn that supplies of vaccine will remain scarce for atleast the next couple of weeks.
Delays in producing the vaccine mean 28 million to 30 milliondoses, at most, will be divided around the country by the end ofthe month, not the 40 million-plus states had been expecting. Thenew count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meansanxiously awaited flu-shot clinics in some parts of the U.S. mayhave to be postponed.
It also delays efforts to blunt increasing infections. Overall,what CDC calls the 2009 H1N1 flu is causing widespread disease in41 states, and about 6 percent of all doctor visits are forflu-like illness - levels not normally seen until much later in thefall.
Federal health officials said Friday 11 more children have diedin the past week because of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about halfof the child deaths since September have been among teenagers.
And overall for the country, deaths from pneumonia and flu-likeillnesses have passed what CDC considers an epidemic level.
"These are very sobering statistics," says the CDC's Dr. AnneSchuchat.
This new strain is different from regular winter flu because itstrikes the young far more than the old, and child deaths aredrawing particular attention. Eighty-six children have died ofswine flu in the U.S. since it burst on the scene last spring - 43of those deaths reported in September and early October alone, saidSchuchat.
Fortunately, most people recover from the new strain with simpleat-home care, just as with the regular flu. While there aren'tprecise counts, states have reported more than 2,000 deaths frompneumonia or flu-like illnesses to the CDC since Aug. 30. AndSchuchat said other tracking systems show those deaths have reachedthe level that each year is used to declare an influenza epidemic,months early.
Regular winter flu kills 36,000 Americans a year, and around thecountry some clinics aren't getting shipments of seasonal vaccineas quickly as expected either, as manufacturers juggle the extrawork. About 82 million doses of seasonal vaccine have been shipped,and 114 million eventually will arrive, enough for typical demand,Schuchat said.


More from News 12
0:37
Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

2:49
Cloudy skies with some overnight showers; Rain continues Wednesday

Cloudy skies with some overnight showers; Rain continues Wednesday

1:25
Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

4:23
Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

2:06
Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

2:08
Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

0:48
Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

1:47
Global tech outage still impacting travelers at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

Global tech outage still impacting travelers at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

0:22
Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

1:44
'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

3:02
Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

0:44
3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

1:18
Monmouth University lockdown prompted by threatening email lifted

Monmouth University lockdown prompted by threatening email lifted

0:31
Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

0:43
Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

0:20
Health officials: West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis detected in Cape May County

Health officials: West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis detected in Cape May County

0:31
Police: South Jersey pet groomer charged with animal cruelty following death of 3-year-old dog

Police: South Jersey pet groomer charged with animal cruelty following death of 3-year-old dog

0:27
New York, New Jersey & Delaware sued for failing to protect endangered Atlantic sturgeon

New York, New Jersey & Delaware sued for failing to protect endangered Atlantic sturgeon

1:46
What you should know about a deadly nationwide listeria outbreak linked to deli meat

What you should know about a deadly nationwide listeria outbreak linked to deli meat