Don’t confuse swine flu spread with its severity

Each person infected with Influenza A (H1N1) will infect between 2.2 and 3.1 others  — a “reproduction ratio”  European researchers say is historically similar to  other influenza pandemics. Alexander Ozonoff, professor of biostatistics, stresses the spread of the flu virus is separate  from its severity.

“On general virological principles we would expect that transmissibility correlates negatively with severity. There are selective pressures that tend to push the virus in that direction, although it is not clear how often this holds with pandemic influenza.”

Contact Alexander Ozonoff, 617-638-5866, aozonoff@bu.edu 

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