Here is an update from the deputy director of the CDC influenza division, Daniel Jernigan, MD, PhD, reported on WebMD on May 15, 2009:
“By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDMay 15, 2009 —
More than 100,000 Americans probably have the flu — and at least half of these cases are H1N1 swine flu, a CDC expert estimates.
The comment came from Daniel Jernigan, MD, PhD, deputy director of the CDC’s influenza division, during a news conference.
Jernigan noted that the 4,700 confirmed or probable cases of swine flu reported to CDC represent a gross underestimate. When asked how many actual cases there were, Jernigan noted that 7% to 10% of the U.S. population — up to 30 million people — get the seasonal flu each year.
“So with the amount of activity we are seeing now, it is a little hard to know what that means in terms of making an estimate now of the total number of people with flu out in the community,” Jernigan said. “But if I had to make an estimate, I would say … probably upwards of maybe 100,000.”
The CDC’s most recent data, for the week ending May 9, shows that about half of Americans with confirmed flu had the H1N1 swine flu. If Jernigan’s off-the-cuff estimate is correct, more than 50,000 people in the U.S. have the new flu.
At a time when flu season should be ending or over, the CDC’s flu season indicators are going up instead of down. As of May 9, 22 states had widespread or regional flu.”
Thanks to commenter J.J. for the heads up.