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Swine Flu ThreatSwine Flu Threat Not Gone, U.S. Warns

Government Spending $1 Billion on Vaccine Ahead of Fall Flu Season; New Cases Continue Nationwide


July 12th, 2009

Washington is racing to develop a vaccine to combat the H1N1 'Swine Flu'. The government is putting big money into finding and developing a vaccine by the end of 2009.

Priya David  reports                                                                                                        Vacine Shots

    It's the middle of summer and the springtime outbreak of the H1N1 virus, also known has swine flu seems like a distant memory. But if you thought the health threat had passed, think again. The U.S. government says it could be a busy fall, reports CBS News correspondent Priya David.

    The government is spending $1 billion on a new vaccine. Nearly 100,000 people have been infected worldwide - 37,000 of those in the use and 429 people worldwide have died from complications of the virus, including 211 in this country.

    "The potential for a significant outbreak in the fall is looming," President Barack Obama said recently - so the government is now putting big money into finding a vaccine, fast.

    "There'll be another $1 billion worth of orders placed to get the bulk ingredients for an H1N1 vaccination," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said today. "Congress has agreed with the president that this is the number one priority, keeping Americans safe and secure."

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, 211 Americans have died after contracting H1N1. A CDC map shows some H1N1 activity in almost every state, with widespread illness in more than 20 states.

    Hawaii saw 100 new cases in just the past week, and in Colorado, the Air Force Academy says more than 80 cadets are being tested for H1N1 after coming down with flu-like symptoms.

    Some summer camps are closing early after 50 outbreaks among campers. In Britain, the actor Rupert Grint, who plays Harry Potter's friend in the movies, is now recovering.

    U.S. health officials are watching countries in the southern hemisphere where it's winter and flu season now, to see what effect H1N1 might have here in the fall. Bolivia announced its first two swine flu deaths today.

    "When exactly the flu season starts, we can't predict, but we will have a vaccination ready by mid-October, assuming we have a safe, effective strain that's been identified," Sebelius said.











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