One Year Anniversary of H1N1 Discovery

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One year ago, April 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the discovery of a new flu strain initially called swine flu but later by the official name H1N1.

The story of the H1N1 virus begin with three young children—two in Southern California; one in Mexico— who received medical attention for upper respiratory infections in March 2009. As the flu season was winding down, the specimen samples are collected from the three children who would recover.

In April, CDC scientists confirm the new unsubtypable influenza “A” virus not reported previously anywhere in the world. On this same day, the first known death from a new strain of “swine” flu occurs in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The beginning of a global pandemic. For more information about the first year of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, see “The Year in Review" at the CDC’s website.

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The most recent CDC mid-level estimates are that during this past year about 60 million people in the United States have been infected with 2009 H1N1, 270,000 have been hospitalized and 12,270 people have died from 2009 H1N1-related illness.

A year later, the public doesn’t discuss the flu on a daily or even weekly basis. The H1N1 flu continues to circulate. In recent weeks, an outbreak affected 11 students at a Hawaii school.

CDC recommends influenza vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu for all people 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for people at higher risk of serious complications from 2009 H1N1, including people with certain health conditions, the very young, and those people 65 years and older.

Health conditions that increase the risk of being hospitalized from 2009 H1N1 include lung disease, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, heart, or neurologic disease, and pregnancy.

Related stories
How To Take Swine Flu Precautions (April 27, 2009)
H1N1 vaccination priority in pregnancy
H1N1 causing critical illness mostly in young adults

Sources
Centers for Disease control and Prevention
CNN

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