Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 4, 2009—The CDC released a study today detailing the effects the swine flu (H1N1) has had on children in the United States. The study results were released in the Sept. 4, 2009, issue of CDC’s publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

As of August 8, 2009, 477 deaths have been associated with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the United States, including 36 children younger than 18 years. Based on studies from previous influenza outbreaks, children aged younger than 5 years or with certain chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for complications and death from influenza. Sixty-seven percent of children who died had at least one chronic high-risk medical condition. Neurodevelopmental conditions, such as developmental delay, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy, were the most frequently noted chronic medical conditions, reported in over 90 percent of children with a chronic medical condition. A number of children also had bacterial infections, including most children who were older than 5 years and did not have high-risk medical conditions. This finding suggests that bacteria, in combination with H1N1 influenza, can cause severe disease in children who may be otherwise healthy.

The CDC advises: Any child, even previously healthy children and especially those with chronic medical conditions, can have a severe illness or even death from 2009 Pandemic influenza A (H1N1). All children aged 6 months and older should receive 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine when it becomes available, and children with high-risk medical conditions should immediately consult with a health care provider if they develop an illness consistent with influenza.

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