H1N1 swine flu has killed as many as 17,000 Americans, including 1,800 children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.
The swine flu pandemic put as many people into the hospital as during the normal influenza season - but most were younger adults and children instead of the elderly, and it was during the months when usually very little or no flu is circulating, the CDC said.
“CDC estimates that between 41 million and 84 million cases of 2009 H1N1 occurred between April 2009 and January 16, 2010,” the agency said in a statement. Usually the CDC goes with a middle number, which is about 57 million people infected.
Between 8,330 and 17,160 people died during this time from H1N1, with a middle range of about 12,000, CDC said. But between 880 and 1,800 children died, up to 13,000 adults under the age of 65 and only 1,000 to 2,000 elderly.
In a normal flu season, the CDC estimates that 36,000 Americans die of flu but 90 percent are over the age of 65. CDC estimates that 200,000 go into the hospital, again mostly the elderly.
The swine flu pandemic has affected much younger people.
The CDC estimate shows that between 183,000 and 378,000 people were hospitalized with H1N1 swine flu from April to January.