What is the Seasonal flu?
The flu (influenza) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. Flu viruses cause illness, hospital stays, and death in the United States each year. There are many different flu viruses and sometimes a new flu virus emerges to make people ill.
What is the Novel H1N1 flu?
Novel H1N1, swine flu, is a new and very different influenza virus that is spreading worldwide among people. Influenza is unpredictable, but scientists believe that the new H1N1 virus will also cause illness, hospital stays and death in the U.S. over the coming months. This flu season, the new virus may cause many more people to become ill than during a regular flu season. It may also cause more hospital stays and deaths than the seasonal flu.
The CDC has recommended that certain groups of people receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
- Health Care and emergency medical services personnel
- Persons between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old
- People who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of health disorders or compromised immune systems
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