Swine Flu May Not Be Any Deadlier This Fall: Experts/ US News

Review of prior epidemics refutes theory that virus gets more severe

Fauci’s staff publish paper doubting serious epidemic to come:

TUESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) — The theory that a relatively mild outbreak of a new flu virus in the spring predicts a more severe, deadly outbreak in the fall isn’t borne out by a look back at prior epidemics, two U.S. experts (Morens and Taubenberger, from NIH’s NIAID) say.

And as for the current H1N1 swine flu pandemic, the NIAID experts believe that the relatively poor transmissibility of the virus, the fact that many people have some pre-existing immunity, and its arrival in the Northern Hemisphere in late spring “all give reason to hope for a more indolent pandemic course and fewer deaths than in many past pandemics.

“It’s hard to conceive that if the H1N1 should reappear in the fall in the Northern Hemisphere that we would have a more severe epidemic,” said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean of the school of public health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

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