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Swine Flu Death Statistics May Be Flawed Say Researchers

Estimates of the proportion of people who will die if infected with swine flu are flawed, say UK researchers.

Currently, the death rate in the UK and the US is estimated at about 0.5 per cent of people who have been infected with the virus. And, accurate estimates are needed so that health authorities can best target treatment and vaccination strategies.

However new analysis purport three reasons why current estimates may be off.

1. The unknown number of infected people, who recover at home without notifying their doctors that they are ill, or receiving a diagnosis.

2. The possibility that deaths from swine flu are being attributed falsely to other causes of death, such as heart attacks or pneumonia from other causes.

3. Statistics are distorted by a time-lag between the point at which someone is infected and the time they die.

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