AFP
October 5, 2009

US health authorities are hoping to contain what they say is an intensifying swine flu pandemic with a massive A(H1N1) vaccination campaign starting this week.

“We expect Friday in our weekly update of FluView that we will be reporting substantial flu illness in most of the country, significant flu activity in virtually all states,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“Most states do have quite a lot of disease right now, and that is unusual for this time of the year,” she said at a press conference on Friday evening.

Schuchat also shared her concern over the serious risks facing pregnant women infected with the virus, whose risk of dying from the A(H1N1) strain is effectively six times higher than for the general population.

Between April and August, 100 pregnant women in the United States who contracted the virus were admitted to intensive care, and 28 died, Schuchat said.

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