Nine more people have died in Colorado because of the flu, bringing the total number of deaths at a very early point in the season to 34. Moreover, about 1,550 people have been hospitalized with the flu, as swine flu, or H1N1, spreads across the state (via 9News).

It isn’t clear if all the cases are swine flu, but officials say it’s the only strain they have tracked in Colorado so far this year. It’s also not understood why the virus hits some individuals and groups, such as young people, harder than others. But many people suffer badly, and one woman in southern Colorado is fighting for her life, according to 11 News in Colorado Springs.

Unfortunately, flu vaccines remain in short supply—both for the swine flu and for the seasonal flu. The situation was unavoidable, say experts interviewed by The New York Times; the global H1N1 pandemic created a larger demand than the industry can handle.

Despite the shortage, workers on Wall Street have somehow gotten their hands on doses, according to the Today Show, in a breaking scandal that appears to once again highlight the disconnect between the well-to-do and struggling families.

Meanwhile, a cat in Iowa has tested positive for the virus and survived after displaying symptoms, showing that people can pass the virus on to their pets, writes The Washington Post.