Marchione: One quarter of Americans sick enough to be hospitalized with swine flu last spring wound up needing intensive care and 7 percent of them died, the first such study of the early months of the global epidemic suggests. That`s a little higher than with ordinary seasonal flu, several experts said.What is striking and unusual is that children and teens accounted for nearly half of the hospitalized cases, including many who were previously healthy. The study did not give a breakdown of deaths by age.
Other experts caution against making too much of specific numbers from these early results."We don`t know how good these numbers are. They`ve done a good job; it`s the best that we`ve got," Osterholm said. "But there are deaths out there that are not being recognized as influenza — only an autopsy would pick them up. And there are likely hospitalizations for flu that were missed as flu."The Southern Hemisphere study involved 722 patients with confirmed cases of swine flu who were treated in intensive care units. More than 14 percent, or one in seven, died. That study also found a disproportionately large number of cases in pregnant women and the very obese.Bureau Report
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