State reports 11 more deaths from H1N1

total is now 30

Slight dip in flu recently, but holiday travel may end that

November 21, 2009|By Kelly Brewington | kelly.brewington@baltsun.com

Maryland health officials reported 11 more swine flu deaths Friday, including three children - bringing the state's total to 30 deaths and 787 hospitalizations from the H1N1 virus.

The updated totals come from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's weekly report. Last week, officials began reporting statewide deaths in the same way they are reported by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which involves estimates that officials believe provide a more accurate accounting.

Nationwide, from April, when the flu outbreak began, through Oct. 17, an estimated 22 million people have become ill with swine flu, the CDC reported last week. About 98,000 people have been hospitalized, and 3,900 people have died - including 540 children.

The agency said Friday that there has been a slight dip in swine flu activity recently, but that people should brace themselves for more transmission because of Thanksgiving travel.

In Maryland, the majority of swine flu deaths have been in the Baltimore region. Total deaths in the Baltimore area rose from 10 last week to 16, officials reported Friday. By comparison, the tally in the Washington suburbs rose from three to six during the same period. Officials would not reveal further information about the deaths, including whether the victims had underlying health problems.

State and national officials are still dealing with a shortage of H1N1 vaccine but say more is on the way. As of Friday, 54.1 million doses were available for states to order, 11 million more than the previous Friday, the CDC said.

Maryland received 40,000 doses of swine flu vaccine Friday, bringing its total to 983,400 doses. Officials said they hope to reach the 1 million mark by Thanksgiving.


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