New H1N1 Flu Can Kill Fast According To Researchers

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A drawing of a pig and a biohazard sign mark the door of a lab where samples are tested for the H1N1 swine flu virus

The new H1N1 flu is “strikingly different” from seasonal influenza, killing much younger people than ordinary flu and often killing them very fast, World Health Organization officials said on Friday.   A review of studies done during the seven months the virus has been circulating shows it is usually mild, but can cause unusual and severe symptoms in an unlucky few, according to a WHO-sponsored meeting in Washington this week.

 

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Flu Vaccines Hit A Wall – Scientists Struggle To Speed Vaccine Development

Vaccine

Making a vaccine against seasonal influenza is a constant catch-up game. Scientists must predict which of the constantly mutating virus strains will be most virulent six months in the future, the amount of time it takes to manufacture the vaccine. The system has worked well enough for the regular flu. But when new, virulent strains emerge–including the current, rapidly spreading swine flu (H1N1)–the traditional approach falls short. Even as consumers clamored for a vaccine, it took seven months and around 48,000 confirmed U.S. cases before the first H1N1 vaccines were shipped to hospitals around the country.

 

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