- Wall Street Journal -
The H1N1 swine-flu virus is sickening many people around the world, but so far isn't becoming more virulent, health experts said Thursday, giving a bit of breathing room to pharmaceutical companies and officials rushing to deliver a vaccine.
"The good news is that so far, everything that we've seen, both here and abroad, shows that the virus has not changed to become more deadly," said Thomas Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "That means that although it may affect lots of people, most people will not be severely ill." But he cautioned that "the H1N1 influenza and influenza generally is unpredictable."
A CDC study Thursday showed that most of those U.S. children who have died of the new H1N1 flu were at least five years old, and 67% had high-risk medical conditions, predominantly neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy. Some otherwise healthy children who died had bacterial infections, the study found, warning doctors to be on the lookout for them so they could be treated quickly.