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article imageStudy shows swine flu gets critical quickly, affects young most

By Michael Krebs     Oct 14, 2009 in Health
A Canadian study demonstrates that after initial hospitalization H1N1 swine flu patients became critical rapidly - leading to low blood oxygen levels and multiple organ failures.
As the H1N1 swine flu pandemic moves through the North American continent, new studies are emerging that chronicle the severity of the virus among patients needing hospitalization.
One Canadian study found that the virus struck women particularly hard, finding that 67 percent of the victims studied were women.
Another piece of research reported that hospitalized H1N1 patients deteriorated rapidly and affected younger demographics, echoing attributes of the 1918 Spanish Influenza.
"Our data suggest that severe disease and mortality in the current outbreak is concentrated in relatively healthy adolescents and adults between the ages of 10 and 60 years, a pattern reminiscent of the W-shaped curve [rise and fall in the population mortality rate for the disease, corresponding to age at death] previously seen only during the 1918 H1N1 Spanish pandemic," the authors of the new study wrote.
While H1N1 swine flu vaccines have arrived throughout the United States, they have yet to be distributed to the public in any meaningful numbers. According to CDC officials, the virus exists "in virtually the entire country."
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