Bracing for a resurgence of the H1N1 Flu Virus in the fall

July 9, 2009 11:15:00 AM PDT
The government is sponsoring a H1N1 flu summit in Washington Thursday. ABC News Christianne Klein tells us how local officials were assured that federal money will fund a national vaccination program.Just a few months before the start of the fall flu season U.S. government officials announced a $350,000,000 dollar preparedness campaign to try to curb a major outbreak of the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as the swine flu.

Kathleen Sebelius, H.H.S. Secretary said, "We do not know exactly how this virus will present during the fall flu season. But our surveillance efforts have led scientists to believe the impact of this virus could worsen in the fall or earlier, when schools start to open."

So far about 1,000,000 people have been infected in the U.S. with the H1N1 virus and at least 170 have died, but most haven't suffered severe symptoms.

Worldwide, just more than 400 people have died from this flu strain, but calling in to the 'flu summit' from Italy, President Barack Obama said the weakness of the spring strain isn't necessarily a sign of what is to come in the next few months.'

President Obama said, "'The potential for a more serious outbreak in the fall is looming."

Part of the government's plan is to create a flu vaccine specific to the H1N1 virus that would be administered separately from the common flu vaccine.

Many companies are currently working to develop vaccines and the government hopes to have one approved by mid October.

The Obama Administration said the vaccine will be offered first to school children, young adults, pregnant women, and health care workers who are more likely to be exposed to the virus.

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