Over a million Americans affected by Swine flu virus, claim US health officials

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Washington, June 26 (ANI): US health officials estimate that as many as one million Americans may now have the new H1N1 (swine) flu.

Lyn Finelli, a flu surveillance official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, voiced the estimate at a vaccine advisory meeting on Thursday in Atlanta.

The estimate is based on mathematical modeling. Nearly 28,000 US cases have been reported to the CDC, accounting for roughly half the world's cases. The US count includes 3,065 hospitalizations and 127 deaths.

An estimated 15 million to 60 million Americans catch seasonal flu each year, CBS News reports.

The percentage of cases hospitalized has been growing, but that may be due to closer scrutiny of very sick patients. It takes about three days from the onset of symptoms to hospitalization, Finelli said, and the average hospital stay has been three days. ther health problems have been a factor in most cases: About one in three of the hospitalized cases had asthma, 16 percent diabetes, 12 percent have immune system problems and 11 percent chronic heart disease.

The numbers again highlight how the young seem to be particularly at risk of catching the new virus. But data also show that the flu has been more dangerous to adults who catch it. (ANI)

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