H1N1 virus' death toll as high as
17,000, CDC estimates
, CNN Medical News
February 12, 2010 8:26 p.m. EST
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN)
-- The H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, may have killed as
many as 17,000 Americans, according to new estimates by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
Though 2,498 confirmed deaths linked to the H1N1 virus had been reported to the CDC as of
January 30, the agency estimates that between 8,330 and 17,160 people actually have died
The overwhelming majority of the people who died -- between 6,390 and 13,170 --
were 18 to 64 years old, the CDC estimates. Between 880 and 1,810 children 17 years old
and younger also died from this flu, according to CDC estimates.
In comparison, the CDC says that in a regular flu season, about 36,000 people in the United
States die from seasonal flu, with 90 percent of the deaths usually occurring in people age
65 and older.
Since this new flu virus emerged in April 2009, health officials have recognized that
the reported numbers of people who have been hospitalized and died provide only a partial
picture of the full outbreak. Underreporting of influenza cases and deaths is common,