Deadly H1N1 Spreading Across U.S.

Monday, January 6, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Jeffrey Kopman
Weather.com
Jan 6, 2014

The calendar says 2014, but health officials and flu victims might feel like it’s 2009 all over again. The H1N1 flu strain — which was responsible for the 2009 swine flu pandemic — has dominated this season’s flu scene, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“[Usually] the most common problem from the flu isn’t the virus itself, but the bacteria and pneumonia that the virus sets you up for,” Bruce Hirsch, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York, told weather.com. “(But) this season — unlike few others — we’re seeing this H1N1 flu cause viral pneumonia in and of itself and causing an occasionally fatal flu in young adults who would not be otherwise vulnerable.”

“H1N1 seems to be a character — a bad actor — and causing more problems [than other flu strains],” said Dr. Hirsch. “So far the outbreak of this flu season seem to me, as an infectious disease practitioner, to be more dramatic and more severe. It seems to be a little bit of an explosive onset, and what I’ve seen in my patients is a few cases trickling in and then boom! It’s much more common.”

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