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SNAPSHOT OF H1N1

Swine flu facts

September 14, 2009|Times Staff Reports

The novel H1N1 flu virus, commonly called swine flu, appears to be no more dangerous than many seasonal flu strains -- but it spreads more easily than many viruses.

Most at risk for infection:

Children and young adults under the age of 25 have been the most likely to contract the virus in the United States. For seasonal flu, the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill are usually most susceptible.

The toll:

In the U.S., as of Sept. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reporting 9,079 hospitalizations and 593 deaths related to H1N1. Worldwide, the World Health Organization was reporting 254,206 cases and at least 2,837 deaths.

To prevent infection:

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (about the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice).

Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

Avoid close contact with people who have the virus.

To prevent transmission:

Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with a tissue. No tissue? Do the "Dracula sneeze" -- into the crook of the elbow.

Avoid close contact with healthy people.

For more info:

Go to www.flu.gov. Among the highlights: information on vaccine research and videos starring Elmo.

--

health@latimes.com

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