As most people are aware, there is a novel influenza (also known as swine flu) strain, identified as H1N1, circulating throughout the world and in several states across the United States. As of May 5, 2009, there are 403 H1N1 positive cases across the country. In New York state there are 90 laboratory-confirmed cases in New York City and 17 probable/confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza outside of New York City. Although the situation is serious, people should not panic. To put this in perspective, more than 200,000 people across the country are hospitalized each year due to seasonal flu. We encourage the public, especially those with underlying medical conditions, to get flu shots every year because more than 30,000 people die from complications due to seasonal flu. At this point, one person in the United States has died from H1N1 influenza.