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Flu Season

NEWS
September 2, 2010
Flu season may be a bad time to check into a California hospital--and probably everywhere else in the country as well. In a demonstration of what many experts would call appalling medical ethics, only slightly more than half of healthcare workers in California hospitals received a flu shot last year, despite the dangers that presents for patients. The vaccination rate was less than 25% in 3.3% of the hospitals, according to data compiled by the state health department and obtained by Consumers Union through a Public Records Act request.
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SCIENCE
August 27, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Most reports about seasonal influenza cite an average of about 36,000 deaths in a typical season, but that number is too high and grossly misleading, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The actual average is a little more than 23,000, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report . But even that figure is misleading, the report added, because the numbers have ranged from as low as 3,300 deaths to nearly 50,000 over the last 30 years.
SCIENCE
March 19, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The likelihood of a third wave of pandemic H1N1 influenza appears to be declining as all indicators of swine flu activity remain low throughout the bulk of the country, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Nobody can say for sure that we are totally out of the woods, but the further we go into spring and summer, the less likely we are to see another wave," said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. It would not surprise the agency to see some local activity of the virus "continue to percolate along," he added.
NEWS
February 13, 2010 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
An estimated 57 million Americans have contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza since the outbreak began last April, about 257,000 have been hospitalized with complications from it, and nearly 12,000 have died, according to estimates released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of infected represents an increase of about 7 million cases since the last estimate was released in December, a modest gain that correlates with other data suggesting the swine flu pandemic has been waning.
SCIENCE
February 13, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
An estimated 57 million Americans have contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza since the outbreak began last April, about 257,000 have been hospitalized with complications from it, and nearly 12,000 have died, according to estimates released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of infected represents an increase of about 7 million cases since the last estimate was released in December, a modest gain that correlates with other data suggesting the swine flu pandemic has been waning.
SCIENCE
December 11, 2009 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
About 50 million Americans had contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza through Nov. 14, according to the newest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday -- meaning that about 15% of the entire country has been infected, about 1 in every 6 people. "That still leaves most people not having been infected and still susceptible," CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said at a news conference. The agency also reported that more than 200,000 people had been hospitalized and nearly 10,000 had died.
NEWS
December 11, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
About 50 million Americans had contracted pandemic H1N1 influenza through Nov. 14, according to the newest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday -- meaning that about 15% of the entire country has been infected, about 1 in every 6 people. "That still leaves most people not having been infected and still susceptible," CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said at a news conference. The agency also reported that more than 200,000 people had been hospitalized and nearly 10,000 had died.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2009 | W.J. Hennigan
Feel a fever coming on? Now that flu season is in full swing, people are scrambling for a vaccine. And the rush is even more hectic because of the H1N1 scare. To help with the high demand for vaccines, Google Inc. has launched a flu shot finder at www.google.com/flushot. It provides users with the locations of clinics that provide seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. The site works like Google Maps. Enter a ZIP Code or the name of a city, and the closest sites will pop up. Clinics offering H1N1 shots are blue.
OPINION
October 31, 2009
As the first doses of swine flu vaccine were made available this month, it looked as though the public might be scared away from inoculations by the chatter of such disparate anti-vacciners as Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh. Now, of course, the opposite has happened: People are lining up at clinics and pestering their doctors for the vaccine, which is 12 million doses short of recent predictions. The country has about a fifth of what's needed to inoculate its most vulnerable populations.
SCIENCE
October 31, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Nineteen more U.S. children died from pandemic H1N1 influenza in the week ending Oct. 24, bringing the total to 65 since Aug. 30 and to 114 since the beginning of the pandemic in April, according to the newest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two-thirds of those children had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications, CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said in a Friday news conference. In a normal flu season, 40 to 50 children die, so the swine flu is affecting children much more severely than seasonal flu. Comparable numbers are not available for adults because there are no similar reporting requirements for them.
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