CNN is reporting that the H1N1 flu virus could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths, mainly among children and young adults, if it resurges this fall as expected, according to a report released Monday by a presidential advisory panel.
The report urges speedier production of the H1N1 vaccine and the availability of some doses by September. The H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu virus, could infect between 30 percent and 50 percent of the American population during the fall and winter and lead to as many as 1.8 million U.S. hospital admissions, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported.
The report says 30,000 to 90,000 deaths are projected as part of a "plausible scenario" involving large outbreaks at schools, inadequate antiviral supplies and the virus peaking before vaccinations have time to be effective, according to CNN.
Up to 40,000 U.S. deaths are linked to seasonal flu each year, with most of the fatalities occurring among people over 65. The H1N1 vaccine isn't expected to be available until mid-October, and even then it will take several weeks for vaccinated individuals to develop immunity, the report says.