Bracing for a Swine Flu Comeback

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In this May 2009 photo, Fred Moiola Elementary School students ride their bikes outside the closed school in Fountain Valley, Calif. The school was  closed for swine flu sanitizing. (AP)
Students ride their bikes outside a closed elementary school in Fountain Valley, Calif., in May. The school was closed for swine-flu sanitizing. (AP)

The H1N1 virus — "swine flu" — just won’t quit. This summer, it’s sickened people all over the place: kids at camp, Senate pages in Washington, Navy crewmembers aboard ships.
The world death toll is 1,100 and rising. This fall U.S. officials fear a second surge -- with as many as 40 percent of Americans sickened.
The race is on to produce the 150 million doses experts say are needed. And they're wrestling with thorny questions, again, about closing schools — and just how big a threat the virus really is.
This hour, On Point: Gearing up for swine flu’s fall comeback, from Washington to your home town.
You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Spencer Hsu, a reporter for The Washington Post who's been following the government’s preparations for the fall flu season.

From Nashville we're joined by Dr. William Schaffner, professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and chair of its Department of Prentative Medicine. He's an expert on the use of vaccines in both pediatric and adult populations.

And from Baltimore we're joined by Dr. Eric Toner, senior associate with the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biosecurity. He’s a physician trained in internal and emergency medicine and an expert on pandemic influenza response and hospital preparedness.

More links:

"Inside the Fight Against a Flu Pandemic" — Time magazine's Michael Scherer reports on the preparations and debates going on now as the government readies for a new outbreak. And Time's Bryan Walsh looks at "five burning questions" remaining to be answered about swine flu, including how deadly the H1N1 virus really is.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers up-to-date information on the swine flu, including questions and answers on symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

This program aired on August 6, 2009.


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