Heath officials say swine flu has caused at least 19 more children's deaths — the largest one-week increase since the pandemic started in April.
At least 114 children have died from swine flu complications since the spring. That's up from 95 reported a week ago. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the statistics on Friday.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden says more Tamiflu for children has been released from a national medicine stockpile. There have been spot shortages of the children's version of the swine flu treatment.
The CDC also reported that swine flu is widespread now in all but two states. Health officials estimate that many millions of Americans have been infected, though most suffer only mild illness.
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More than 1,000 Americans have died from H1N1 since it was first diagnosed in April. About 36,000 Americans die each year from seasonal flu.
At least 5.7 million people were infected with H1N1 infected from mid-April through July 23, the CDC said this week.
One Shot Is Enough
A WHO expert group said a single dose of swine flu vaccine is enough to immunize adults and children over 10 against the pandemic strain.
But the experts say medical regulators should have the final say on which vaccines can be administered as a single shot.
Europe's drug regulator recommends that the swine flu vaccines it has licensed be given in two doses, at least three weeks apart.
U.S. regulators recommend two doses for children under 10.
The WHO experts say more data on children aged between 6 months and 10 years are needed to determine whether one or two doses are enough.
WHO released the recommendations Friday after a three-day meeting of vaccine experts in Geneva.
Vaccine Shortages Continue
U.S. health officials continued to express frustration over the shortage of H1N1 vaccine available to the public. Both Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CDC Director Frieden tried to reassure the public this week that more than enough vaccine will eventually be available for all who want it.
In spite of the shortage, some people who aren't at high risk for swine flu complications have jumped to the head of the line to get much-in-demand vaccine.
These people include healthy adults or senior citizens instead of kids, pregnant women and people with health problems.
Because the U.S. has only received about 24 million of the 250 million vaccine doses it's ordered, some health departments are stepping up screening measures.
Before Los Angeles County health officials stepped up screening at their flu clinics, Natalie Thompson sailed through the long line and got the vaccine along with her 8-year-old son, even though she's not in one of the priority groups.
"If I can get it, I'm not gonna say no," said Thompson, 35, of Hollywood Hills.
Another mom, Katy Radparvar, didn't say no either.
"Our doctor doesn't have it yet," said the 41-year-old woman who was vaccinated along with her three children at a public health vaccination site in suburban Encino last week.
On the Net:
CDC swine flu update: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm