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Children were twice as susceptible to catching swine flu as adults were, and even more so if they were younger than 4, said one of the researchers, Lyn Finelli, surveillance chief for the CDC's flu division.
"It fits with what I'm seeing clinically," said Dr. James King, chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians' board of directors and a family medicine doctor in Selmer in western Tennessee. "Most of the people I'm seeing are people under 20, mostly kids," he said.
Nearly three-fourths of households in the study managed to avoid spreading the illness to any family members.
In homes where the germ was transmitted, researchers found something unexpected: "People at all ages were just as likely to spread the virus," Finelli said. "That was surprising, since we always think of kids as super-spreaders."
The study was funded by several public and private health-related groups in England and the United States, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
On the Net:
New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org/
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