Experts Study Differences in Flu’s Severity

Health authorities raced yesterday to unravel the many mysteries about the ominous new swine flu spreading around the world, including how widely the virus might cause the severe form of illness that so far has been restricted to the epicenter of the outbreak in Mexico.

As the number of confirmed infections in the United States jumped again and cases were confirmed for the first time in Britain, New Zealand and Israel, researchers searched for clues as to how readily the virus causes the pneumonia that has hospitalized and killed patients in Mexico. Only a handful of patients in the United States and elsewhere outside Mexico have been hospitalized, severe complications have been relatively rare, and no one has died.

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