Swine Flu may not be as deadly as first thought - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Swine Flu may not be as deadly as first thought

SPOKANE, Wash. - There's encouraging news Monday about the swine flu.

Mexican officials think the worst may be over there and U.S. scientists now believe the flu may not be as deadly as first thought.

After more than a week of worrying, wearing masks, travel concerns, and school closings, officials now say that while we're not yet out of the woods, this particular flu may end up being very similar to the "regular" flu.

The New York City school hit hard by the first U.S. cases of swine flu reopened Monday.

New York's Mayor says everyone who was sick in his city is now on the mend.

"We can't guarantee that there will not be any more h1n1 cases- particularly in the school. But we think that very unlikely," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The CDC agrees. Lab tests show this strain looks nothing like the 1918 virus that killed millions.

"Rates of hospitalization are not different so far than we've seen with seasonal flu and that's encouraging," said CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser.

It's not the end however, not even close.

"We're seeing this virus spreading across the country and we expect we'll see it very soon reported in all 50 states," said Besser.

So far, H1N1 has infected more than 200 Americans in at least 30 states.

Now, we're getting our first look inside the Mexican pig farm where officials think the virus may have started. Tests of the pigs came up negative, and the farm's co-owner, Smithfield Foods, denies it.

Mexico is also on the mend. Officials say there have been no deaths there in four days so they've lowered the country's alert level.

Mexican officials say they now think many more people than first predicted there had swine flu and that's good because it means the death rate is much lower than originally thought.

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