Deadlier than first thought?

November 11, 2009 3:35:07 PM PST
There's new information about the swine flu outbreak. A report says the H1N1 virus may have killed a lot more people in the U.S. than initially thought. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]

Health officials may have seriously underestimated the death toll from the swine flu. A New York Times report says it may be more than three times higher than previous estimates. The Centers for Disease Control reportedly is planning to release new numbers next week, indicating that 4,000 Americans have died of H1N1 instead of the previous estimates of about 1,200.

A CDC spokesman says the new numbers incorporate confirmed cases, as well as those who died from complications, like bacterial pneumonia or organ failure after coming down with the flu.

Health experts seem to agree with the new figures, but say even those fall well below the death toll from seasonal flu seen in a normal year.

There have been a total of 30 deaths linked to swine flu in the Houston area, including the city, Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Montgomery and Brazoria Counties.

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