The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates almost 4,000 deaths in the U.S. were related to swine flu between April and mid-October.
The agency also reports that 22 million swine flu cases occurred during the same period.
In an average flu season, flu contributes to the deaths of about 36,000 people, with 90% age 65 or older. Many of them have other underlying health conditions.
That’s not been the case with H1N1. The vast majority of deaths have been in people age 18 to 64, and about 25% of them were healthy before contracting the virus.
Of the 4,000 total deaths, about 540 have been children age 17 and under.
Key message: We’ve got at least four more months to go in the flu season this year. H1N1 has just started to show the impact it can have. Employees still have to heed warnings to wash their hands frequently and stay out of work if they have flu symptoms and a fever.