“We don’t have any evidence that it’s mutated yet, but I’m concerned the mutation may be taking place. The children seem to me to be getting much more sicker than they used to be one or two months ago,” said Dr. Norris Payne, a Houston pediatrician.
He’s seeing three or four new cases of swine flu each day.
This is an anecdotal report. As such, it may or may not signal a real change in the behaviour of the new H1N1 virus. However, if the virus does change to a more lethal form, reports from physicians will be among the first signs.
This report should trigger urgent responses from the Texas State Health Department and the CDC. Samples from patients with more serious symptoms should be collected and the virus that infected them sequenced. Further, physicians treating other patients in the Houston area should be canvassed to determine whether they also are seeing more severe cases.