With "unusual levels of [flu-like] illness for this time of year" being reported in the US, a "majority of people" hospitalized for the H1N1 virus have "underlying conditions," according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Asia Johnson, 6, of Boston, receives an intranasal H1N1 vaccine
at the primary care clinic at Children's Hospital Boston, Friday,
Oct. 9, 2009 in Boston. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
Schuchat, who is the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on Tuesday, that based on a sample of current H1N1 hospitalizations, the conditions that may be contributing to adults acquiring the virus, include asthma, chronic lung or heart disease, and immunosuppression. Pregnancy accounted for 6 percent of diagnosed adults being hospitalized.
"In children," Schuchat added, "the most common underlying conditions were asthma and chronic lung disease, neurologic or neuromuscular diseases, and sickle cell or other blood disorders." The numbers, however, don't include children under two years old, she said, because, "of course, just being under two is like an underlying condition
The findings announced by the CDC are based on reports from across the country, from 1,400 adults and 500 children hospitalized for the H1N1 virus.
Schuchat also said that 9.8 million doses of the swine flu vaccine were available as of Monday, that had not been ordered by states, with 5.8 million doses awaiting shipment to state and local health departments. Clarifying earlier statements about the doses only being available in spray form, Schuchat clarified that "about half of the vaccine that's available for order is now the injectable form."