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September 5th, 2009
10:58 AM ET

Scared about swine flu?

The H1N1 flu virus could cause up to 90,000 U.S. deaths, mainly among children and young adults, if it resurges this fall as expected, according to a presidential advisory panel.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Spread of the H1N1 virus is entering an "acceleration period," WHO official says."]

So we want to know what you think about swine flu? Does the threat of a potential outbreak scare you? Do you, your family, or your school have a flu-prevention plan?

Leave us a comment, a question, or concerned. Then watch Fredricka Whitfield Saturday September 5th at 4 P.M. ET as she explores this topic and answers your questions in our Swine flu theme hour!

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Christopher Gibbs

    There so many things to worry about now, some people just don't think of it.

    August 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  2. Gov Employee - California

    I have major concerns with the H1N1 virus. In 1968, I almost died form a re-occurrence of what was known then as the Hong Kong flu. I was hospitalized for almost a month. I currently have a compromised immune system taking anti-viral and anti-bacterial meds and a cancer survivor.

    I work for health care of a local government and come in contact with homeless, mentally ill, newly released prisoners, and immigrants (probably many illegal) whom all use drugs. My MD said that the H1N1 is not worth worrying about and has stated that the immunization is ONLY for pregnant women and children.

    August 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  3. Betty Phillips

    I am concerned about the flue, BUT, the most important thing to do is WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!! I never touch currency without a good wash to the hands, anytime I return from shopping of any kind the first thing is to wash hands. I also make a strong effort to stay away from a person that is sneezing or seems to have a cold (this includes a sinus attack.) Ikeep a liquid hand cleaner at all sinks. It is also nice to have a roll of paper towels to use and discard after every use.
    I encourage all persons to be extra careful with their own body and I think it will reduce the spread of contamination. Also remember a door knob carries many types of germs. Betty

    August 30, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  4. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Theres alot of speculation on how maney and who is going to get the H1N1 flu and yet theres really little known about it like is it going to return when fall comes around or returne in the spring like it did the last time or is it just a one time thing that wont show up for another centhury but there is one fact it's better to be safe then sorry.

    August 31, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  5. Christine M

    Yes, I am concerned about h1n1. If exposed, I would likely be one of the folks to die as I have chronic health problems. I have bought nearly $400 dollars worth of masks and gloves for my grown children and grandchild and their families in case there is not a vaccine in time. My daughter is trying to get pregnant again, and I an worried for her because pregnant women are at a much higher risk of dying from h1n1

    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  6. Ann

    The best way to protect yourself from swine flu or other types of flu is by strengthening your immune system through exercise. Check out for a list of exercises that can help you strengthen your body and increase your body's natural resistance to disease.

    August 31, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  7. marykay

    I am concerned not so much about the h1n1 flu because if it's going to hit no one can stop it. I am more concerned about how fast and untested this vaccine is going to be made and issued. If some kind of adverse reaction happens to a child like the previous swine flu vaccine caused, there is no recourse that anyone can take for restitution per the goverment laws. I am scared more of the vaccine than the flu.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  8. Katie Jones

    The Swine Flu is one of the most dangerous strands of the flu which will possibly kill an average of 90,000 people in the U.S. alone. I am not really concerned about the swine flu because its not the strand which kills you its the strenght of your immune system against the symptoms. In my opinion you have nothing to worry about if you take care of yourself as if you where sick. Some people say even if you wash your hands you may prevent from getting sick. To me thats not true because the Swine flu is like any other flu you can get it in tha air, by breathing it in, and in many other ways. People shouldnt be afraid of the Swine flu because if you beleive in it you just may get it. The Swine flu should be an eye-opener to young adults and to the elderly that if you dont take care of yoursself you may be at risk.

    August 31, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  9. Bear

    My college has a mandatory overnight orientation, placing all students together in semiprivate rooms overnight. It doesn't seem like higher education is taking the H1N1 virus seriously. What message is the CDC or HHS sending to institutions of higher education about limiting the risk of spreading this virus? At first I thought the "overnighter" was corny team building excersice, but in light of H1Nnow looks like irresponsible leadership.

    September 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  10. Stan

    I certainly understand that man's frustrations, but he should not have slapped the child. He has every right to voice his complaint to the mother and to store personnel if the child is out of control. I have witnessed this many times and I have wanted to step in when I see examples of poor parenting. There are too many bad parents out there and we have to witness this daily.

    September 3, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  11. Laura

    Looks like I'm in the minority here, because I am not the least bit afraid of swine flu. This is probably for a few reasons: A) I am unemployed and live in a more rural area, not very easily spread to me EXCEPT FOR B) the gym I attend regularly, which as someone mentioned boosts my immune system C) I am relatively young (recent college grad) and eat healthier than pretty much everyone I know. D.) I never catch these things.

    September 4, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  12. Sam Ra

    Those who don't want the President to address their kids about their education are most hypocritical and racist. Just ask these idiots of parents if they even know what their kids are watching on the tube. I guarantee you that they have no clue and that what they watch on TV is much worse for the kids than our President is going to present to them.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  13. Terry McCann

    "Ask not what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Country" (to paraphrase President Kennedy).
    Isn't that what President Obama is asking the younger generation also?
    The level of paranoia gripping the country right now is scary. If it continues I think I might be 'knocking on Canadas door' and asking for admittance!
    We finally have a good President, we should be supporting him.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  14. Toye Smith

    I really hope that the forecast is wrong. It could be the deadliest outbreak we've had in recent memory. I'll like to see the government mandate all employers to have their employees vaccinated. I hate to play the hypochondriac, but sometimes if I catch a fellow employee merely sneezing, it makes me a little nervous.

    Toye Smith
    Bridgeport, CT

    September 4, 2009 at 10:13 am |


    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  16. Craig

    Will President Obama give another umemployment extension? I live in Ga. unemployment is high THERE ARE NO JOBS AVAILABLE.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  17. phil s


    why no coverage of Van Jones? are the comments and views of a man that the President is entrusting with 30 billions dollars of stimulus money not newsworthy?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  18. Karen Canada

    Easy now. This figure of 90,000 deaths could be grossly overblown. In Australia in June – beginning of their winter- the estimates were possible 6000 deaths. As of August 27th there have been 138 deaths and 34,180 cases documented.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  19. Jannise Mora

    To fear the Swine Flu, is to fear breathing. It is silly to over react to air born viruses. What is important is to do all you can to prevent communally shared diseases by following the CDC 's suggestions, and by maintaining good health. It is impossible to shelter yourself from the world getting in, and the sooner all people realize that, the better off the world community will be.

    September 4, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  20. sylvia


    September 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  21. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Heck no she died almost two years ago

    September 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  22. Roy Choate

    I Started A Home Modification In 2-27-2009. I was Told It Was Approved. Know In 9-24-2009 I was Told They Can't Do It .I was Liad Off Work In 8-7-2009. Is This How The Pres. Obama Plan Works? Thank You Roy.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  23. Albert

    Josh my man, you forgot to mention the best site on the entire net in your story this morning. I happen to own the online discussion forum at Since it's a discussion forum, people are preparing for the pandemic and discussing issues in real-time discussion. The website is also comprised of individual state forums so people can work online, etc.... Each state forum also has online volunteers who are instructing people on how to prepare. Like I said, it's the best pandemic site around.

    The swine flu emerged on April 24th 2009, and I launched on April 26th, two days later.

    On another note, I also launched the forum at back in 2005, which was the first ever pandemic flu website. Avian flu was here even before You might say we started all of the awareness that you see today.

    Anyway, although I prefer to remain anonymous most of the time, I thought I would mention this since again you failed to mention the best swine flu site on the net, lol.

    Best regards,


    September 5, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  24. Cecile

    Re: Health Care Reform, I am truly concerned for the thousands of us on SS Disability. Those of us on limited incomes will be hit extremely hard if the President withdraws the Prescription Federal Susbsidies. He voices the help will be only for the doughnut hole; and that is only half of the costs. What about the monthly discounts that make it possible to get; and the discount on insurance premiums. Without this Entitlement, even cutting out cable and going into grocery monies would not pay for all the increases.

    September 5, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  25. Chandra

    The majority voted for Healthcare Reform when they turned out in record numbers to vote for change last November. These few loud people who are making it appear as though the majority are against it are the same people that refused to get off of the "Handicapped" bus after a Town Hall meeting in NJ in some really sick and derogatory version of ignorance towards the Civil Rights Movement. I wish the news cameras were there to catch that rather than focusing on those that screamed and booed and hissed during the Town Hall Meeting. Why does it seem that the supposedly Representative Democracy is bowing down to that mentality when they don't represent the majority of Americans? The majority voted in November! The majority support the President!

    September 5, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  26. Ben chukwu

    Fredricka, am very much concerned about this HINI Virus. My wife is 4months pregnant and wondering what should she do to avoid this virus affecting her and the unborn child.

    September 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  27. Thomas Baird

    The Flu is dangerous and precautions need to be taken as usual.
    Its a flu virus and we have been through this before.We will get through this season as we have before.With as few of deaths as possible.To take the flu shot or not.Getting the flu shot doesnt guarantee that it will prevent you form catching the flu. Is the flu shot/vaccine guaranteed not to be safe to take by the FDA?If the flu vaccine isnt guaranteed to be safe to take why risk it?It would be a shame to end up dieing form the flu vaccine, maybe you would of made it throuth on your own immune system defenses and survived it.Some one is making money on the vaccines I wonder who it is.Perhaps some big drug company that is out there spreading the flu around to make sure they will make alot of money on all the flu medicines and the vaccines. Its possible you know but how to find out for sure is the question..Can it be guaranteed that its not going on?That brings me back to who is making money off the flu?

    September 5, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  28. Thomas Baird

    If the flu shot/vaccine isnt guaranteed to be safe by theFDA ,our Food and Drug Association in America to take and can guarantee it actually works why take the risk?The shot/vaccine might do more harm than good. Think about it before you take it.

    September 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  29. Wendell Fellows

    Is the flu shots that is being given at the pharmacy stores and doctors office good enough to fight the H1N1 flu?

    September 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  30. Miriam R. Thompson

    My 39 yr. old daughter had the swine flu vaccine when she was 3,4,or 5 on dr's orders because of a long bout of pneumonia. Should she get the current swine flu vaccine? Has it been tested on this population?

    September 5, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  31. Mary Brown

    We are flying to Tucson in two weeks, then joining a tour to Northern Mexico and the Copper Canyon. What do we need to be concerned about? Are there any meds or drugs we should take with us in the event one or both of us get the flu? It will be a bus and train tour, so it would be hard to isolate.
    Thank you, Mary Brown

    September 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  32. Barbara Smaller

    I personally do not believe that the swine flu is that deadly. It"s just
    a flu like any other. What I think is behind all this is the shadow
    government [the Bilderberg Group] They are looking to create chaos
    in order to promote their own agenda. The presidents are their
    puppets and do their biding.

    September 5, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  33. Peggy Kennedy

    What can parents do now to help their children be healthier and stronger in order to increase their chances of surviving the H1N1 flu, if they get it?

    September 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  34. Mark

    It was Nov. 2005 President Bush said we need to be prepared for the H1N1 virus (then Asian Bird Flu). The president said we need to make the vaccine in the US and not depend on European Manufactures. WHY four years later are we not able to get the vaccine we need. VLP technology to produce a vaccine in 12 weeks was available? Why we are still depending on old egg based vaccine in Europe that takes six months to produce? Small US companies were able to produce a vaccine in four weeks since the outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 virus. WHY were that not funded and fast-tracked to be ready for this season? What happens when the mild version of flu mutates into a more dangerous virus with a 60%-70% fatality rate? Who in Washington can I blame for this if one of my family gets sick?

    September 5, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  35. Patrick Gartner

    H1N1 Pandemic Confirmed by PCR (DNA) analysis is in Los Angeles. See my Ireport for full details.


    September 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  36. Smita

    I am 6 months pregnant and would like to know what precations do i need to take for the remainder of my pregnancy to prevent Swine flu .Also does the H1N1 vaccine have any side-affects on the health of my unborn baby if i take it ?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  37. J. Tydings

    The kind of masks people are buying thinking they will have protection will NOT protect them. Ask the doctor. Only a specially designed mask will protect against the flu virus.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  38. Wade Anderson From Ottawa, ON

    I am looking for a no bull answer here....

    1st question: If I get vaccinated, what are my odds of actually being protected?

    2nd question: What are my odds of having an adverse drug reaction to this such as paralysis or even death?

    3rd question: Due to the vaccine and NOT H1N1 is it true that the CDC is prepared to see 30,000 individuals to suffer from adverse reactions including paralysis and death...given that every American gets vaccinated?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  39. Cindy Miller

    If a healthy person, without underlying health conditions, catches the flue and dies from it, what it is that they die from? Respiratory infedtion? Bacterial infection?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  40. Kelly

    I had swine flu a few months ago and am completely recovered. Do I still need a vaccine or am I immune to it?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Jill

    Will everyone need TWO doses of swine flu vaccine? And if so, what is the length of time one must wait between the first and the second dose?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  42. Lynn

    I have 2 school age children that go to different schools home with the swine flu right now. I'm not seeing the reporting on the fact that it spreads very quickly and their schools are recording record numbers of kids being absent with it. Everyone is talking about the fact that it will be coming later in the Fall/Winter and you need to get shots when they become available. In Atlanta it's already here. It will be too late when the shot becomes available.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  43. Rita Pollock

    The media is missing a prime opportunity to help the public reduce the spread of the swine flu, other flues and colds, etc. Dr. Shaffner and yourself finally demonstrated coughing into your sleeve. I would like to see you using this as the first example of preventing the spread in the population. It was said to avoid people coughing and sneezing in our presence but if people don't cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve they are spreading those germs into our noses. Washing our hands won't help that. Also, coughing into a tissue is fine except the germs are spreading to our hands and unless we are at a wash basin people will spread it everywhere anyway.

    The media is a powerful weapon to reduce disease spreading if this coughing into the sleeve was demonstrated constantly. People learn from the habits they observe. It then becomes common practice.

    In British Columbia where I live this method is being taught to schoolchildren. Health Canada has a brochure with a picture of a man coughing into his sleeve which is put in newspapers, doctors offices, etc. Some even have a video demonstrating the practice.

    Most people, if they even bother to cover their mouth, do it with their hands and they don't wash their hands after. Therefore, it isn't rocket science to know how these diseases continue to make us ill. They also cost millions of dollars every year to employers in lost work time and the public because of the costs entailed in buying remedies to make us feel better during an illness.

    With all the advanced technology we have today, we are missing the simplest solutions and the media has a very important role to play.

    Yes, keep having the medical experts on and the questions, etc. but when even professionals don't emphasize the prevention habits, it isn't helping the public to the extent it could.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  44. Diana Wagner

    What do we do about school age children who are allergic to eggs? I understand that the vaccine is made in chicken eggs.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  45. Rick

    The outbreak that you reported here is at Washington State University in Pullman, not the University of Washington in Seattle.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  46. Michael

    What if there was bad side effects? Do people not worry about that? The drug companies and these doctors that are promoting this H1N1 Vaccine are responsible for the Swine Flu and it is the media that is just making this worst and placing fear on people.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  47. Barbara Smaller

    I have a question, if the swine flu vaccine is safe, then if something
    goes wrong when taken why are the manufactorers free from any law
    suits? This seems highly suspicious to me.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  48. Michelle

    I have a 5 month old and a 4 year old what about the younger ones to get the H1N1shot??? Is it safe for say a 5 month old??


    September 5, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  49. Sandra

    When should kids, age 14 and 17, get the regular flu shot if they will get the swine flu shot in October? Is there a period of time that needs to be between the regular and H1 N1 shot?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  50. WD9HOT

    Can someone explain what an adjuvant is? And why it is used in the H1N1 vaccine. I am referencing Squalene and do I need to be concerned?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  51. Megan

    I am on an immunosuppressant drug and can't have live vaccines. Will the swine flu vaccine be live? Also, am I more at risk for getting swine flu because of my suppressed immune system?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  52. Peggy

    How long are the flu shots effective – both the regular flu shot and the H1N1?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  53. steve dallas tx

    I'm just getting over a bout of the flu...assume swine because it's not flu season...should i get vaccinated?...49 year health issues

    September 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  54. michelle

    if you already had the type A Flu should you still receive the seasonal flu shot.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  55. Cindy

    If you've had the swine flu recently do you still need the shot? If the H1N1 virus mutates at all during the next few months, will you have immunity?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  56. Dan Fleury


    September 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  57. linda

    What am I supposed to do, I'm allergic to eggs and can't get the regular flu shot, I won't be able to get this new one either, because they use eggs to culture the virus. Hand washing & disinfecting have never kept me from getting the flu, however I continue to clean. My family gets the flu shots, but they seem to always give it to me and I have asthma.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  58. Denise

    Why is the mist not available to people over 50 for the H1N1 virus?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  59. Monique Ashby

    I want to know what is riskier for people who have Guillian Barre or CIDP( Chronic Inflammatory Demyelenating Polyneuropathy ) Receiving the Swine Flu Vaccine or catching the Swine Flu.
    I have CIDP I was in remission for a while but I am now in a relapse. I got it from the Flu Shot in 2004.

    September 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  60. Lina Burhan

    This sounds fishy. Many vaccines take years to develop. How could this vaccine be was created in less than a year? Was it pre-made or something?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  61. Mark M San Francisco

    so we keep hearing about older and younger people getting the swine flu shot never a word about sick people HIV Cancer etc getting it, would it be even safe for them?

    September 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  62. Katherine

    Swine Flu is sooooo overated! I had it at college from my sorority and i just had a 103 fever but with tamiflu and rest I WAS FINE!!!!!!!! in as little as 4 days! this whole thing is so stupid! If you have it dont freak out and think you are going to die. Go to your local clinic and get tamiflu and sleep and drink fluids!

    September 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  63. sandy

    Just wondering if Medimunne was coming out with a flumist for the H1N1 virus?

    September 5, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  64. Cee Cee

    Many web sites have confirmed that the H1N1 flu mist not the shot
    dose contain the live virus, wouldnt that help spread it, as so many with the mist do get runny nose and cough?

    What is in the shot as far as preservitives? That seems to be what has
    caused medical issues in the past.

    Dose research show the flu shot weakens the immune system.

    September 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  65. Jerry - CO

    Am I missing something? How much does the H1 N1shot cost?
    Since 2 shots are required does that mean 2 charges?
    Who is manufacturing this vaccine & how much did this company contribute to political campaigns?
    Why is the threat of this relatively innocuous illness being so hyped? Must be politics in there someplace.

    September 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  66. Cee Cee

    Can you confirm that once a pandemic is declared a vaccine manufactor can use any Adjuvant in the vaccine they please with impunity no matter the side effects even death and the only one you could take to court would be state goverment and state and local
    health depts. It seems it would take states to finacial wipe out.
    We all have alot at risk with a rushed H1N1 vaccine both ways.
    Also can you confirm in the 70s didnt more people suffer death or
    disability from a Swine flu shot than the flu it was for. Thanks

    September 5, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  67. Jeff

    Which do you think says more about the political alignment of CNN? The fact that they are completely igonring the Van Jones story or that their website still has the stories from weeks and months prior that speak of him wanting to bring hope to those who have none but make no mention of scores of racist and marxist rants that have come to light.
    Sorry to be off topic but my topic has been blacklisted

    September 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  68. Sean B

    I'm not worried at all. I've worked this out, 90,000 people is about 0.03% of the 300+ million U.S. population. Also, around 40,000 people are killed in the U.S. in car accidents every year (, so simply driving is about half as dangerous as the swine flu. I'm just going to avoid crowds, not touch things in stores and wash my hands frequently. That should be fine for most people.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  69. Phil

    Why 2 injections for H1N1?
    Explain in detail.
    I read one shot weakens the immune system and the second shot brings it back.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  70. Jeremiah Ryan

    This whole campaign has smelled fishy since it first emerged. Now we are hearing about the possibility of FORCED vaccinations, quarantines of some sort, and $1000/day fine for health care workers who refuse the shot.
    An informal survey was done at our local clinic with the nursing staff. All the nurses were NOT planning on getting the vaccination.
    Me neither.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  71. heidi

    why are we getting the shot so late?
    It seems to me it should have been ready with the other flu shots.

    September 6, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  72. Phil

    They are "testing it" on the school kids first.

    September 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  73. Nikhol Powell

    There is absolutely no way that I would allow my 4 and 8 yr. old to be a guinny pig for the swine flu vaccine! I don't understand what parent could actually trust this at this time.

    Of the first 40-50 million doses, I am wondering what community of children will be the first gunny pigs to receive the vaccine? I am very skeptikal about this...

    September 6, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  74. Leroy From the American Journal of Pathology

    September 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  75. Sharon Craig

    Is the swine flu vaccine appropriate for people over 60? If not, are people over 60 at increased risk?

    September 9, 2009 at 10:53 pm |