Swine Flu Could Kill 90,000: White House

Could infect half the U.S. population this year

Thursday, Sep 3, 2009  |  Updated 12:57 PM EDT
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A woman, wearing a mask as a precaution against swine flu, checks an X-ray as she waits for medical attention at the Miguel Couto hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Swine flu could infect half of the U.S. population and kill as many as 90,000, more than twice the number of casualties incurred in a typical seasonal flu.

The White House said in a report today that President Obama has been encouraged to push for quicker and more widespread vaccine production and appoint a staffer to be in charge of the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"This isn't the flu that we're used to," said Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Thirty to 50 percent of the country's population will be infected in the fall and winter. A typical seasonal flu infects about 36,000, the report said.

Get more: The Wall Street Journal

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