Health officials estimate that as many as 1 million Americans now have the H1N1 virus, better known as swine flu. The estimate, made public today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is based on mathematical modeling. Nearly 28,000 US cases have been reported to the CDC, accounting for roughly half the world's cases. The US count includes 3,065 hospitalizations and 127 deaths.
An estimated 15 million to 60 million Americans catch seasonal flu each year. The percentage of cases hospitalized has been growing, but that may be because of closer scrutiny of very sick patients. It takes about three days from the onset of symptoms to hospitalization, and the average hospital stay has been three days. The average age of swine flu patients is 12, the average age for hospitalized patients is 20, and the average age of those who died was 37.