SUMMARY: Unlike the seasonal flu, H1N1 damages the entire airway, from the trachea to deep in the lungs. The damage is similar to that caused by viruses responsible for deadly pandemics in 1918 and 1957, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Of the 34 deaths studied, 24 of the victims were younger than 50, highlighting the pandemic’s inordinate impact on younger people.
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ANALYSIS:As cited above, this study validates clinical observations of disproportionate impact on younger people by H1N1 influenza and a more severe pathology that can lead to serious complications, including an abnormally high fatality rate among certain risk groups. It should be noted that a small number of additional cases of oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 have been reported during the past week, a reminder that antiviral treatment may not always be effective. As the future prevalence of H1N1 remains unknown and the regular flu season is just beginning, immunization and other preventive measures remain both relevant and the most effective precautions available.