ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
Antioxidant-Rich Foods Lose Nutritional Luster Over Time
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Add your Article

Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans

SUNDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- While the official tally of confirmed U.S. swine flu cases topped 4,700 on Friday, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate the true number of infections at more than 100,000 nationwide.

Also on Friday, health officials announced two new deaths linked to the H1N1 virus, bringing the nationwide total to five.

"Today we had our fourth death reported from Maricopa County in Arizona," Dr. Daniel Jernigan, from CDC's Influenza Division, said during an afternoon teleconference Friday. "There are more deaths and hospitalizations that we are monitoring," he said.

The Arizona patient, a woman in her late 40s with an underlying lung condition, died last week, the Associated Press reported.

Also on Friday, health officials in Nueces County, Texas, announced that state's third swine flu-related death, an unidentified 33-year-old man with multiple underlying health conditions who died May 5 or 6, according to the AP.

The two new fatalities come after two others in Texas and one in Washington state. All of the victims had underlying health problems besides the flu.

Most cases of swine flu occurring in the United States appear to be mild, health officials said.

In fact, "estimates of the confirmed and probable cases in the United States is probably not the best indicator of transmission at this point," the CDC's Jernigan said. "The outbreak is not localized, but is spreading and appears to be expanding throughout the United States. This is an ongoing public health threat."

It's a little hard to estimate the number of people who may be infected with swine flu, Jernigan said, "but if we had to make an estimate, I would say that the amount of activity we are seeing with our influenza-like illness network is probably upwards of 100,000."

Jernigan said there also seems to be more cases of flu generally in the United States -- both the seasonal and the new H1N1 swine flu -- than is usually seen at this time of the year. "There are 22 U.S. states that are reporting widespread or regional influenza activity, which is something that we would not expect at this time," he said.

In other news, the CDC on Friday lifted its general warning that Americans avoid non-essential travel to Mexico, considered the origin and epicenter of the outbreak. Instead, the warning has been downgraded to a "precaution" that now advises people who might be at high risk for complications from the flu to reconsider travel to Mexico.

But in a troubling sign that the swine flu outbreak has yet to run its current course in the United States, three New York City public schools were closed Thursday after dozens of flu-like infections surfaced and an assistant principal was in critical condition on a ventilator, according to published reports.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said four students and the assistant principal at a Queens middle school had diagnosed cases of swine flu. More than 50 students went home sick Thursday with flu-like symptoms. At another middle school in Queens, more than 200 students were absent Thursday, and dozens more were sick at an elementary school, The New York Times and the AP reported.

The assistant principal reportedly had underlying health problems before he fell ill. The students who have taken sick in this latest round of infections seem to be experiencing mild symptoms, similar to routine flu, as has been the case for most people in the United States touched by the swine flu.

When the outbreak began more than three weeks ago, hundreds of students and staffers at St. Francis Preparatory School, also in Queens, were sickened. Reports at the time said several St. Francis students had spent spring vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Mexico is believed to be the source of the global outbreak that has now infected more than 7,000 people worldwide.

Vaccine manufacturers and other health experts met Thursday at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to plot potential strategies to combat the swine flu virus.

The AP reported that drug companies were ready to start producing a swine flu vaccine, but many questions remain. They include how many doses to produce, particularly in relation to needed doses of seasonal flu vaccine.

The expert group's recommendations will be forwarded to the WHO's director-general, Margaret Chan, who is expected to issue advice to vaccine manufacturers and the World Health Assembly next week, the AP said.

But at least one infectious-disease expert said it was a "foregone conclusion" that drug manufacturers would be told to proceed with a vaccine for the H1N1 flu.

"If we don't invest in an H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, then possibly we could have a reappearance of this virus in a mild, moderate, or catastrophic form and we would have absolutely nothing," said Dr. David Fedson, a vaccine expert and former professor of medicine at the University of Virginia.

One factor complicating a decision is that most flu vaccine companies can only make limited amounts of both seasonal flu vaccine and pandemic vaccine, such as that needed for swine flu, and not at the same time. The producers also can't make large quantities of both types of vaccine because that would exceed manufacturing capacity, the AP said.

Testing has found that the swine flu virus remains susceptible to two common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, according to the CDC.

On Friday, the CDC was reporting 4,714 U.S. cases of swine flu in 47 states, and four deaths. For the most part, the infections continue to be mild -- similar to seasonal flu -- and recovery is fairly quick.

The World Health Organization on Saturday was reporting 8,451 confirmed cases in 36 countries.

The swine flu is a highly unusual mix of swine, bird and human flu viruses. Experts worry that, if the new flu virus mutates, people would have limited immunity to fight the infection.

The CDC is concerned with what will happen as this new virus moves into the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season is about to start. The agency is also preparing for the virus' likely return in the fall to the Northern Hemisphere.

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of May 15, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States # of
confirmed and
probable cases Deaths
Alabama

55


Arkansas

2


Arizona

435

1
California
504

Colorado

55


Connecticut

47


Delaware
60

Florida

68


Georgia

18


Hawaii

10


Idaho

5


Illinois

638


Indiana

71


Iowa

66


Kansas

30


Kentucky**

13


Louisiana

57


Maine

14


Maryland

28


Massachusetts
135

Michigan
142

Minnesota

36


Missouri

19


Montana
4

Nebraska

27


Nevada

26


New Hampshire

18


New Jersey

14


New Mexico

68


New York

242


North Carolina

12


North Dakota

2


Ohio
14

Oklahoma

26


Oregon

94


Pennsylvania

47


Rhode Island

8


South Carolina

36


South Dakota

4


Tennessee

74


Texas

506

2
Utah

91


Vermont

1


Virginia

21


Washington

246

1
Washington, D.C.

12


Wisconsin

613


TOTAL*(47)

4,714 cases

4 deaths
*includes the District of Columbia
**One case is resident of Ky. but currently hospitalized in Ga.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More articles at www.eholistic.com