• Kyodo News

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The virulence of a new strain of influenza that is quickly spreading around the world is believed to be “around the same level” as that of normal seasonal influenza, a Japanese virologist who is a member of the World Health Organization’s panel on the epidemic said Wednesday.

Masato Tashiro, head of the influenza virus research center at Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, also said one of the characteristics of the new strain of influenza A (H1N1) is the fact that few people in their 60s and older have become seriously ill from the disease.

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