Monday, May 11, 2009

Some facts on A(H1N1) swine flu virus

Pandemic Potential of a Strain of Influenza A (H1N1) : Early Findings -- Fraser et al., 10.1126/science.1176062 -- Science

At last, some facts, a research paper on the outbreak in Mexico. They estimate a case fatality ratio of 0.3-1.5%, with 0.4% being the most likely figure. This is not a worrying figure, but is on a par with the 1957 pandemic.

This is not the last word on the subject, because the Mexican figures will be difficult to interpret,

Children seem to be more likely to catch it, and it spreads more easily than ordinary seasonal flu.
I need to go look at the paper to find if there is any word on whether cytokine storm is a problem with this virus.

We should expect it to die down over the summer, and then come back in the autumn. [update 26thJune] But it seems to be spreading with easein the summer, so the colder weather will see a rapid spread.

Remember - sneeze into a tissue, wash hands often, practice air kissing (mwah mwah) when you meet friends, and IF ILL STAY HOME!

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