Swine Flu Hits Hardest Among Young Adults

Excessive immune reaction may be at fault in Mexican deaths
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2009 8:05 AM CDT
Swine Flu Hits Hardest Among Young Adults
A taxi driver and his costumer wear surgical masks in Mexico City, Sunday, April 26, 2009.    (AP Photo/Enric Marti)

The swine flu sweeping through Mexico is wreaking havoc among young adults in particular, reports the Washington Post, with the entire death toll as of yesterday comprised of those between 25 and 50. Some believe the trouble for young adults is an overpowering immune reaction that ravages throat and lung tissue, but epidemiologists speculate that young people are contracting the illness because they gather together more.

"You've got to remember, this is a strain of flu nobody has seen before," says an epidemiologist, who says the virus may have a longer lifespan south of the border, accounting for why it's proving fatal in Mexico and relatively mild in the US. Mexican officials, however, counter that the flu is curable and emphasize that early treatment is key. A New York infectious-disease expert says the viral infection can be followed by a potentially-lethal bacterial “superinfection."
(More swine flu stories.)

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