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H1N1 carries infection threat

Serious cases of respiratory disease have accompanied the H1N1 flu virus in populations not normally vulnerable to such a complication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

“Pandemics put us at risk for not just flu problems, but also bacterial pneumonia problems,” Dr. Schuchat said, urging high-risk adults - those with chronic underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, emphysema and heart disease - to obtain a new pneumonia vaccine designed to prevent such problems.

“Pneumococcus is a bacteria that commonly affects the lung or sometimes the bloodstream,” Dr. Schuchat explained. “In a typical non-pandemic year, most serious pneumococcal infections occur in people 65 and over.”

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