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Why Does H1N1 Hit Children More?

November 19, 2009, 5:05 PM by Kelli Grant

Why Does H1N1 Hit Children More?
South Dakota's latest H1N1 report shows more children are getting sick and new research explains why.

Sixty-nine percent of South Dakota's confirmed cases are kids 19 years old and younger. Three percent of confirmed cases are adults 60 years old and older.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of hospitalizations are kids and just 13 percent of those hospitalized in South Dakota are over 60 years old.

New research shows that older adults who've had previous bouts with seasonal flu may carry some protection against H1N1.  Testing blood samples, scientists found evidence the immune system can recognize bits of the H1N1 virus that are similar to older flu strains.

That recognition may help the body fight off the new flu and could explain why H1N1 doesn't seem hit older people as hard.

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