WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The swine flu virus that has sparked fear and precautions worldwide appears to be no more dangerous than the regular flu virus that makes its rounds each year, U.S. officials said Monday.
The flu has been blamed for 26 deaths: 25 in Mexico and one in the United States, according to the World Health Organization.
Still, Napolitano noted, the seasonal flu results in "hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations" and roughly 35,000 fatalities each year in the United States. There are still concerns that the virus could return in the fall, in the typical flu season, as a stronger strain.
"We are cautiously optimistic that this particular strain will not be more severe than a normal seasonal flu outbreak," Napolitano said.