August 24, 2009 3:11 PM
The nation is bracing for the return of Swine Flu this fall. The traditional flu season sets in each year when children return to schools. This year, becuase of Swine Flu, things are very different. It is a point underlined today with the release of a grim outlook.
The report was released by a group of top scientists tasked with looking at the Swine Flu threat and the nation's preparedness. They are careful to say the following is not a "prediction" but rather a "plausible scenario" of what we may face, soon:
--30-50% of the US population may become infected with the flu
--As many as 1.8 million Americans may need to be hospitalized
--Swine Flu could very well result in a big uptick in deaths from flu. In a normal year some 30,000-40,000 Americans die from flu. This year, with Swine Flu, that number could range upwards from 30,000 to 90,000.
--And this new, unique type of flu posses an especially high danger for the young as well as those with pre-existing health conditions including pregnant women.