Wednesday, November 25, 2009

College Swine Flu Rates Drop 37% as Infections Peak

Via -

Swine flu infection rates at U.S. colleges and universities fell 37 percent last week, adding more evidence that the second wave of pandemic flu has peaked.

The drop followed a similar decline a week earlier, according to a survey of 243 college and universities by the American College Health Association. In the latest report, the attack rate decreased to 13.4 cases per 10,000 students from 21.3 cases, the group said in an e-mail today. The proportion of colleges with outbreaks fell to 90 percent from 95 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Nov. 20 that H1N1 infection rates had declined in all U.S. populations for the third consecutive week. It was the first sustained drop since children and college students returned to school in August. The next few days may test the retreat as families gather for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The peak clearly has passed,” said Ira Longini, a University of Washington statistician who advises the U.S. government on flu, in an interview yesterday. “The real question now is have enough children been infected such that they’re immune, and there’s not enough susceptibility to sustain a third wave.”

The H1N1 strain disproportionately attacks children and young adults, according to the Atlanta-based CDC. About 90 percent of deaths occurring among those younger than 64, according to the CDC. By contrast, the majority of deaths from seasonal flu are among people older than 80.


Check out the Virology Blog for more info on this 2nd H1N1 peak..

Dr. Racaniello points out that despite some predictions, there is no evidence from any influenza pandemic that viral mutants of increased virulence in humans have emerged in successive cycles of infection.

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