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H1N1 Virus Less Catching Than Expected

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As the H1N1 flu pandemic begins to wind down, researchers are discovering how infectious this virus really is. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine analyzed data on 216 confirmed patients and their 600 household contacts. Only 78 of these family members and friends developed a flu-like illness over the next week. This amounts to 13 percent of those exposed. Children were twice as likely to develop the flu as adults between 19 and 50 years of age. People over 50 were even less susceptible to the H1N1 virus than younger adults. Most people who got sick came down with flu within two and a half days of exposure. The investigators conclude that 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is less catching than previous flu epidemics.

[New England Journal of Medicine, Dec. 31, 2009]


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We finally got ours last week though we would have gotten it earlier except for the fact we are in the 60+ generation thought to have some immunity already. We had the seasonal shot in September. The seasonal gave us a sorer arm than flu shots in the past, so we must have needed it. The H1N1 gave hardly a reaction.

I am concerned when the bean counters say it is "winding down". We still have the winter months of January, February, March to survive. Who knows how it might mutate in that time. I will breathe easier on April 2, 2010 if we find out it has indeed "wound down".

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