Swine flu deaths south of the border set to triple - Macleans.ca

Swine flu deaths south of the border set to triple

Change in methodology boosts death toll to 4,000

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The number of swine flu deaths in the U.S. is set to triple overnight. According to the Center for Disease Control, the new figure, which is expected to be released today, is a result of new surveillance methods, and will likely show that 4,000 people have died from H1N1, up from the 1,200 that were previously reported. While the apparent spike may induce panic, experts insist that getting an accurate read of influenza numbers and deaths is always problematic, as testing for the virus takes a backseat to treating flu-like symptoms. As Dr. Frank James, a health officer in San Juan County, Wash., and clinical associate professor at the University of Washington, explains: “The public will struggle with this change and some will take it to mean that the government does not know what it is talking about, while those that think more clearly will understand the process and outcome and reasons for the difference.” Despite the increase in the death toll, the likelihood of dying from swine flu in the U.S. is still outstripped by other daily hazards, such as drunk driving accidents.

ABC News

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