Good News and Bad News About Swine Flu
Posted on Sep 1, 2009
Researchers at the University of Maryland say not to worry about the dreaded swine flu mutating into an even more dreaded super bug. That’s the good news. The bad news: Swine flu doesn’t mutate, based on their tests, because it doesn’t have to. It’s stronger than other flu strains and spreads like wildfire. At least among ferrets.
Who should be concerned? Young people. Unlike traditional flu, which is much more dangerous among the elderly, the porcine variety is most lethal for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, reports The Associated Press. —PS
AP via Google:
In other words, it’s no surprise that swine flu has become the world’s dominant strain of influenza. It’s not under evolutionary pressure right now to mix and mutate while it has a clear biological advantage over other kinds of flu, concluded the Maryland team led by virologist Daniel Perez.
[...] The U.S. has closely watched how swine flu rapidly dominated the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, as authorities here prepare a fall resurgence. In Australia alone, eight of every 10 people who tested positive for influenza had the new pandemic strain. While it seems no more deadly than seasonal flu, it claims different victims: Seasonal flu kills mostly people over 65. The new swine flu spreads most easily in children and young adults, and so far has killed mostly people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
Flickr / Ollie Crafoord