H1N1 Special Edition
Novel H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. First detected in the United States in April 2009, this virus spreads from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. Though the majority of cases continue to be mild, some cases – usually in children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions – have been more severe. That's why the federal government is funding a national H1N1 vaccine program that is likely to start early on this fall.
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A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population; the virus causes serious illness and spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization declared H1N1 (Swine) flu a national pandemic.
Sources: University of Rochester Medical Center, Flu.gov
Public Television Stations, and the producers of Public TV's health series Second Opinion, have undertaken a comprehensive effort to help people clear up confusion about H1N1 and seasonal flu. Second Opinion: H1N1 Special Edition is an hour-long program that includes panelists from the CDC, major hospitals and public health departments. Questions are taken from a studio audience and from viewers in select states hard-hit by the flu pandemic. This program is available in local communities on PBS (check your local TV listings), and is also available on local public radio stations (check local listings).
NPR: H1N1: The Second Wave Coverage