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U.S. health officials have lost track of how many illnesses and deaths have been caused by the first global flu epidemic in 40 years.
And they did it on purpose.
Government doctors stopped counting swine flu cases in July, when they estimated more than 1 million were infected in this country. . .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is relying on a patchwork system of gathering death and hospitalization numbers. Some states are reporting lab-confirmed cases. Others report illnesses that could be the new swine flu, seasonal flu or some other respiratory disease.
Some say that's a more sensible approach than only counting lab-confirmed cases. Many people who got sick never get tested, so the tally of swine flu cases was off almost from the very beginning, they say. . .