Prompted by allegations that the swine flu pandemic was oversold to promote vaccine sales, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD have released their assessment of the mortality associated with the H1N1 virus in the U.S during the past flu season. In their own words:

“We conclude that the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic virus had a substantial health burden in the U.S. over the first few months of circulation in terms of years of life lost, justifying the efforts to protect the population with vaccination programs. Analysis of historic records from three other pandemics over the last century suggests that the emerging pandemic virus will continue to circulate and cause excess mortality in unusually young populations for the next few years.”

Relying on the fact that the average age of an H1N1 victim (37) is far younger than the average of a typical seasonal flu victim (76), researchers calculated that in the U.S. H1N1 cost nearly 2,000,000 years of life versus 600,000 for the seasonal flu.

In an interview with New Scientist magazine, researcher Lone Simonsen warns that most people killed in the 1968 pandemic died in its second wave, and advises vaccination. It’s autumn now in the southern hemisphere, and H1N1 is returning. We will keep tracking its progress for our globally mobile readership.

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About The Author

Michael Hartung, editor of Healthy Travel Blog, serves as head of Product Development at HTH Worldwide. Mike is responsible for all product strategy and development for the company. Mike has over twenty years of successful product innovation to his credit. He has played a senior management role in three start-up companies and has built complex organizations in rapid growth environments. Prior to joining HTH in 2000, he served as President of U.S. Healthcare’s Workers Comp Advantage subsidiary, which he co-founded with Angelo Masciantonio. Mike has also served in senior roles at Aon Consulting, Vantage Health Partners and Managed Health Care Services. Mike earned an M.B.A. from New York University, an M.A. from Duke University and a B.A. from Carleton College.

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