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August 31st, 2009
07:24 AM ET

Do you have H1N1 Swine Flu questions?

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AC360°

The H1N1 flu virus could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths, mainly among children and young adults, if it resurges this fall as expected, according to a report released last week by a presidential advisory panel.

The H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu virus, could infect between 30 percent and 50 percent of the American population during the fall and winter and lead to as many as 1.8 million U.S. hospital admissions, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported.

The report says 30,000 to 90,000 deaths are projected as part of a "plausible scenario" involving large outbreaks at schools, inadequate antiviral supplies and the virus peaking before vaccinations have time to be effective.

Do you have questions about these numbers? Let us know! Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be on 360° to answer them tonight.


Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • H1N1
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Athar Akhtar

    Dear Dr. Sanjay Gupta,

    First of all I must acknowledge and admire you the way you explain in detail and answer the questions of people who may have any concerns regarding any illnesses or outbreak of any epidemic particularly H1N1 flue. My question is as the winter is approaching, would it be appropriate to immunize (with new swine flue vaccine as precaution measure) my two teenagers and 10 year old sons. I will appreciate if you please comment on my question. Thank you and admire you for your contribution to our country. ... Athar

    September 1, 2009 at 3:03 am |
  2. Heidi Foglia

    It takes YEARS to make a vaccine. Even if this WERE the vaccine for H1N1 it still will not guarantee that you aren't going to get it-so wash your hands, eat a healthy diet, and exercise, instead.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:11 am |
  3. Juliet

    Hi Dr. Gupta,

    I am a high school teacher who was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in July 2008. With the concerns with H1N1, would you advise me to return to the classroom this fall considering that my immune system is already compromised? I would greatly appreciate a response. Thank you

    September 1, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  4. Martin

    Our older daughter (4) is severely allergic to eggs, which are the basis for the vaccines. Are there options? What should we do?

    September 1, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  5. Susan Schlussel

    My daughter had GBS 2 years ago and was very ill. Would your recommend her taking the Swine Flue Vaccine?

    August 31, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  6. Lynda Sult

    Dr. Gupta,
    I was in the hospital last year with the flu then pnemonia then in a coma for 6 weeks. I had to go through rehabilitation to walk again because I was down so long. I am going to get a flu shot here in Delaware tomorrow but it is not the swine flu shot. I have 2 questions. I don't know if I had the pnemonia shot in the hospital. My doctor or hospital doesn't know either. Should I get the pnemonia shot? Would it hurt if I got it last year in the hospital? And should I get the swine flu shot as well?
    Thank you,
    Lynda Sult
    Age 48
    Substitute Teacher

    August 31, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  7. Meron H.

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta, could you explain to me what the difference between the Swine Flu and the Regular Flu is?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Sara Ray, HI

    I have yet to find any detailed description of all the ingredients in the vaccine. Until I know exactly whats in it, why should I allow myself and my daughter to be injected?

    August 31, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  9. Michael, University of Kansas student

    Dr. Gupta,

    Being a student and part-time employee on campus, I come in close contact with many people everyday. Recently, many around me have fallen ill with apparent H1N1 symptoms, however I feel great. What are some hygiene basics to stay healthy?

    August 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  10. Jessica Rodriguez

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta do you think CDC and FEMA be ready for a pandemic across the country? and if how much funding and where will the funding come from considering we are in a recession.

    Jessica Rodriguez, MPA Emergency and Disaster Managment

    August 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  11. Debbie Spiro

    In June 2009 my 6 yr old son's doctor told he had the "Swine Flu"
    When the vaccine does come out, does he need to be vaccinated or is he immune?

    August 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  12. S Callahan

    Dr. Gupta, I'm surprised there isn't more emphasis on encouring people to take Vit. D...I know I read somewhere that this is benifical to reducing the impact of this flu. If that is so, wouldn't it be wise to encourage this?

    August 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  13. Miriam Cooper, NY

    Hi Anderson,

    I dont think this infection should continue any further. I guess this is just a topic to talk about !

    August 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Sam(antha), Boston MA

    My boyfriend recently started college, so when is the soonest that he should be vaccinated?

    August 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  15. Tiffany

    I honestly find no reason for people to leave comments referring to the "Black Death" and that the future is looking dismal....you are the kinds of people who cause panic in people's life...if you would like to believe your future looks dismal because of this flu, keep it to yourselves and let others leave their legitimate questions/comments.

    thank you!

    August 31, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  16. marma

    Last Monday I felt fine in the morning and went to work. By three pm, I felt achey and feverish and had a headache and a dry caugh and terrable pain in my back.
    I left work. Drove home and by six pm, my fever was up to 103.8. I took Ibprophin to lower my temperature and over the next 4 days it slowly came back to normal. On Saturday I felt so much better but may have pushed it too hard too soon and now My Caugh is worse and I have a headache still. That's one week so far. I was told that my caugh proved it to be viral and will not respond to antibiotics. Where as a bacterial infection will.
    Am I on route to a summary like Caroline's? Hope Not...so far my knees are fine!

    August 31, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  17. missydean louisville, ky

    My dog is sick with the flu! I have it and she has it too! Who can I yell at for keeping these pigs in such God -Awful conditions. TIME
    magazine reported the pig's tails have to be cut off so they will fit in the cages. I assume this is true: Porky's revenge is taking its toll on my dog! Is this possible?

    August 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  18. Annie Kate

    I know for the last several years (may be a decade or more actually) the scientific community has worried that the world is "overdue" for another virus like the 1918 flu which killed somewhere between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide (675,000 in the US) (Source: CDC). Are the scientists thinking that this H1N1 subtype of flu is the same as the 1918 and will be as virulent as its predecessor and if so, how do they know? If they do think that the probabilities are high that this swine flu is going to be as bad as the 1918 Spanish Influenza then, should there not be more awareness building going on so that people know just what they are in for, how effective the vaccine may or may not be if they decide to take it, and what the risks are if they do not take it ? Also, age groups would be helpful rather than the general young adult and children category – just how old are you before you are no longer a young adult?? Thanks.

    August 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  19. Toni

    When will the H1N1 vaccine be ready?

    August 31, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  20. Renee

    3 children in my 10 year old's classroom have confirmed H1N1, 2 others were home today thought to have it, and they sent 2 more children home because of elevated temperatures.

    They are taking extra precautions (ex. spraying the room, cleaning with Clorox wipes) and have taught the students to use extra caution. (Cover their mouths when they cough/sneeze and use hand sanitizer at every turn)

    Still, that's 25% of the children in my child's class. Do I have reason to be concerned?

    August 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  21. Maria

    My doctor's office said they did not have any information on when they are getting the swine flu vaccines. Could this be true? Is it going to turn into a competition like a few years ago on which doctor's offices could get a vaccine in?

    I also want to know with a congenital heart defect where I fall on the list for getting the vaccine? It seems a huge emphasis on pregnant women and infants right now.

    Thanks!!

    August 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  22. Sharon

    I am a physician who contracted swine flu in June, as did other staff. Knowing what we all went through with recovery, prevention seems vitally important. Why are we not recommending high risk patients purchase N95 masks NOW? If a pregnant woman awakens to find her school age child is ill, she will not have time at that moment to go out to purchase a mask.. she will care for him, take him to the pediatrician, and have no immediate protection..don't you think high risk patients need to get a 2 dollar N95 mask NOW?

    August 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  23. Lori Frederick

    My son is a freshman at the University of Kansas, who came down with the flu last week. He was not tested for H1N1, although 3 people in his fraternity house tested positve 2 days earlier. He was sent home (our home) for 5 days to recuperate. I have two questions:
    1) If they are not testing for the strain, how can we believe the numbers being reported – sutdents this week are being told not to even come to Student Health if they have the flu.
    2) If my son did in fact have the H1N1 strain, can he get this same virus again?

    August 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  24. Chuck

    We live in central Alabama. My wife went to our 12 year old sons school today to check him out early and noticed the person who signed out ahead of her had written "swine flu" as the reason for check out. The receptionist told her that there have been several verified cases of swine flu in the middle school recently. There have been no announcements, the school has not been closed and disinfected or anything. Should we be concerned? Should we keep our son at home for a while?

    August 31, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  25. Nick D.

    The hype has gotten less over the H1N1 virus. Is this because the h1n1 virus is something worse than anticipated? Can this be the same as the Black Death that took europe in the early 1000's that took millions of lives?

    August 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  26. Ikaika

    I you get, or have already gotten this sheep flu, chances are, you suffer from other "health conditions" and/or diseases that you've seen on TV and other sources of nonsense. If you fit into that category, do you see a pattern? If so, break it, very simple.

    August 31, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  27. Stacy Kopper

    Having lived through the hype and build up for the swine flu pandemic during the Ford administration - a catastrophe that never happened - I have to wonder how real this "threat" is. In a normal year, how many deaths are due to any flu like illness? Could it be that with an overcrowded, overtaxed planet, something like this is necessary to maintain a balance?

    August 31, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  28. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    I am confused do you have to take 2 shots?
    Is this recommended for people over 50 and caregivers of the elderly?
    Is this okay for the elderly persons over 80?

    August 31, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  29. Cecilia

    If I get it once, is there a chance I get it again?

    August 31, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  30. Mollie

    I was thinking this letter was directed at Anderson Cooper...Sorry

    August 31, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  31. Steven

    Why do you insist on calling the H1N1 virus, "Swine Flu," knowing the implications it has on the marketplace invloving swine-related products and services? The public is a fickle and delicate being, and is prone to believing nonsense such as being infected by eating a pork product or coming in contact with someone who owns a pig. It is one thing to raise awareness of a new virus that can spread quickly and cause numerous deaths if the proper procedures aren't taken to prevent it, but it's another when there isn't enough awareness about the ways of acquiring it. I know that this isn't the best place to bring up this argument, since naming it isn't necessarily as important as treating it. It just pains me to think of the countless people who will wrongfully, and unknowingly use certain preventative measures that will not have any effect, when that same effort can go into the correct ways of prevention and treatment.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  32. Mollie

    Just wondering how it feels to be so handsome....Now i know why Kelly Ripa raves about you..Mollie

    August 31, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  33. Tiffany

    I am a 25 year old female with asthma...My asthma is pretty well controlled but flares up when i get sick...I recently had bronchitis and could hardly breathe...I am concerned (maybe overly concerned) about H1N1 because of my asthma...It seems like i'm not very high in the list to get the vaccine...should I be concerned about this?

    I'm not trying to be complacent about this flu but I'm also trying not to panic as it seems like the media is trying to do...everytime I look at a news website it seems like H1N1 is ALWAYS in the headlines...Please put this all in perspective Dr. Gupta, I would appreciate it!

    Thank you!

    August 31, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  34. Melanie

    I'm pregnant, due in March 2010. Is the H1N1 vaccine safe for my unborn child? If I do get the vaccine while I'm pregnant, will my baby then also have immunity to the virus?

    August 31, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  35. Jan

    A regular flu shot is a single vaccine. Why is the H1N1 vaccine TWO shots a few weeks apart?

    August 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  36. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    Have they discovered if there is segment of the population that is resistant to contracting this illness.If so, who and is it because of a different lifestyle or genetic factor?

    August 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  37. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Should people of every age group get this swine flu vaccination ?

    August 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
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