The million mark

H1N1 virus reaches a milestone in the U.S.

Monday, a new benchmark was announced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the number of swine flu cases in the United States has reportedly reached 1 million. CDC said that many cases were mild, although 127 people have died since the H1N1 virus emerged almost three months ago. The average age of those who died in the US is 37. CDC’s number is much higher than the cases actually reported to authorities, and is based instead on survey material. But there is a silvery lining to all this, BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh insists. If those figures are correct, it suggests that the fatality rate from swine flu is much lower than authorities originally thought. Of the 1 million estimated cases, only 3,000 have required hospital treatment. Still, Dr. Anne Schuchat of CDC warns that swine flu might return this autumn in a much more virulent form.

BBC News

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