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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Profile of swine flu begins to emerge: study

August 24, 2009, in Noumea, in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia. More than half the fatalities from swine flu have been among young adults, according to one of the first surveys to gather mortality data from across the globe for the new A(H1N1) virus.

The analysis of 574 pandemic deaths from 28 countries through mid-July, released this week, also found that being diabetic or obese significantly boosted the risk of dying.

Neither children nor the elderly are as vulnerable as initial reports indicated, found the study, published by Eurosurveillance, the monitoring arm of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

"Most deaths (51 percent) occurred in the age group of 20-to-49 year-olds, but there is considerable variation depending on country or continent," the researchers reported.

Only 12 percent of those who died were 60 or older.

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