Remarks by Secretary Napolitano and Education Secretary Arne Duncan at Today's Media Briefing on the H1N1 Flu Outbreak [May 1, 2009] [open pdf - 49KB]
From the remarks of Secretary Napolitano: "The most frequently asked question we are getting is: why this flu is being treated differently than seasonal flu? In other words, you don't normally see the Secretary of Homeland Security talking about the seasonal flu outbreak. And the answer is because this is a new strain of flu. And during seasonal flu, which we have every year, and unfortunately it does end up resulting in the hospitalization usually of about 200,000 Americans and about 35- to 36,000 fatalities, that's the normal with seasonal flu. But with seasonal flu, we also have a large part of our population that have developed antibodies, or pretty good antibodies, against it, as opposed to what we're seeing now. And what the H1N1 is is a new strain of flu. And that means that the normal antibodies you would have haven't yet developed. And that's why, for example, you will see a population affected like previously healthy adults that wouldn't be affected as strongly with a seasonal flu. So that's why all the precautions."
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/