Flu expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, said "this study adds to other studies that suggest that the transmission rate of H1N1 strain may have been lower than anticipated."
However, Siegel, noting that this study was done at the start of the pandemic, said the findings may not hold up once later data are available.
"There is clearly a variation based on where in the wave [the outbreak] you are," he said. "It may have kicked up over the summer and become more transmissible. So I'm not buying that H1N1 is less transmissible than seasonal flu. I think it depends on when you happen to catch it."
Siegel added that, for a pandemic flu virus, H1N1 is mild. "It is behaving like a pandemic in terms of its translatability, but not in terms of its lethality," he said.
For more on H1N1 flu, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SOURCES: Oliver Morgan, Ph.D., Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, Division of Emerging Infections and Surveillance Services, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; April 2010, Emerging Infectious Diseases
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