CDC director says no false alarms raised for H1N1

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told the annual Flu Conference that he did not raise false alarms about the seriousness of the H1N1 flu last year.

While Frieden said the H1N1 pandemic may not have been as deadly as health officials initially feared it would be, he bristled at the idea that it was a mild flu season, MyFoxAtlanta.com reports.

According to Frieden, five times as many children died from the H1N1 flu than in a normal flu season. According to CDC estimates, approximately 61 million Americans, or 19 percent, caught the virus.

Frieden said the CDC was able to identify this strain of flu and was able to design a test to diagnose it days after the first cases surfaced, MyFoxAtlanta.com reports. But, due to delays in developing the vaccine, the test was months late.

In hindsight, the CDC should have been more cautious about predicting when it would be ready, Frieden told MyFoxAtlanta.com.

Frieden said this year's seasonal flu shot includes the H1N1 strain of the virus, along with two others that are expected to surface this flu season. Frieden added that the CDC is recommending that everyone six months and older get vaccinated.