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The latest in the barrage of media reports on swine flu is a Bloomberg news report (August 25, 2009) that it might hospitalize 1.8 million patients in the US and over-burden hospital intensive care units.
This comes from a planning scenario released by the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology The Bloomberg story cites some theatrical numbers:
Half of the US population infected (that is, over 150 million people)
300,000 people in hospital intensive care units
30–90,000 people dead
By-pass surgery emergency operations disrupted
But hidden in paragraph 5 of the Bloomberg piece is the most pertinent part: