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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

Report says most of the deaths have been in children and young adults

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said that H1N1 continues to hit children and young adults the hardest. Of the nearly 10,000 people in the United States who have died of H1N1, it is estimated that 1,100 were children and 7,500 were young adults.

In addition, more than 200,000 people have been hospitalized because of the virus. Frieden also pointed out that it has hit Native American and Alaska Native populations particularly hard. Because 85 percent of Americans have not been infected with H1N1, most are still susceptible to the disease.

"This is a good window of opportunity to get vaccinated. We don't know what the future will bring in terms of H1N1 influenza," Frieden said.

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