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Swine flu cases low due to weather

The ‘summery’ autumn might be the reason swine flu has not spread as much as was feared

SWINE flu has not so far spread as rapidly in France as had been feared – perhaps because of the mild autumn, experts say.

The director of the National Health Monitoring Institute, Françoise Weber, said: “The mild weather may have something to do with it, as flu spreads especially during cold spells.”

Météo France say September was mild and October has been exceptionally summery.

Ms Weber said we were seeing a “little epidemic” which was “stable” or possibly in decline.

Another expert from the institute, Daniel Lévy-Bruhl, said: “We were expecting a bigger increase, but it was just a hypothesis – for seasonal flu we know quite well what will happen, but we can’t predict how a new pandemic virus will behave.”

Even so, the number of people visiting the doctor with flu symptoms is up on the average for the time of year, though experts say it can be hard for GPs to be sure when it is a case of swine flu or not.

A flu observation network, GROG, estimates so far 40,000 doctor’s consultations have been linked to swine flu.

Scientists from national health body Inserm say it is possible many people have caught swine flu without showing any symptoms.

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