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 New Numbers Indicate Thousands Dead From H1N1 
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 New Numbers Indicate Thousands Dead From H1N1

New Numbers Indicate Thousands Dead From H1N1
Bryan Rupp Nov 12, 2009

H1N1 Swine flu deaths are back in the news and it appears that H1N1 has killed thousands more people than first thought.

ABC's Viviana Hurtado has the latest developments.

More than 4,000 Americans have already died from the virus, which is more than three times an earlier estimate and 40,000 have been hospitalized.

Federal officials say the number is higher because deaths caused by flu-related complications are now being counted.

Many doctors say the best protection against this virus remains the vaccine. problem is there's still a shortage.

"Unfortunately, the consequences of not having enough vaccine soon enough is we're going to have people who are going to necessarily get sick and some will die" said Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota.

The only company making the vaccine in the United States is behind schedule. Sanofi-Aventis attributes the slow delivery to the vaccine growing more slowly than anticipated.

"For us there is no delay. It has always been a period of time that is very fixed. We're talking about mother nature here" said Chris Veinbacher, the Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi-Aventis.

The company promises to deliver 75 million doses before year's end. But, that's little comfort for Walter Savitts' wife. Her husband came down with what seemed to be the regular flu. It was H1N1 and it quickly tore through his lungs.

"By Saturday night he couldn't breathe. He was having a really hard time. And by 2a.m. Monday morning he was in full respiratory failure" said Walter's wife Margaret Savitts.

While this man clings to his life, millions of Americans continue to wait for the H1N1 Swine flu vaccine.

Public health officials say the revised estimate is well below the yearly death toll from the seasonal flu.

Something is going to happen, but what?

Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:12 pm
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