I started in South Africa on casual and was able to win fairly easily. When I bumped it up to normal I keep runnig into a end game problem. It's hard to spread up in the cold regions, especially greenland and iceland. By the time I have it spread to everyone I dont have enough points to make it drug resistant and lethal enough to end the game.
I think my stretegy is wrong or I need a new starting area. Any suggestions?
Getting Symbiosis 1-3 should be the very first thing you do with parasites. Those abilities lower the severity value of the disease so much that even on brutal difficulty, you can infect the whole world without even triggering the "new disease discovered" notice.
Don't bother getting any symptoms. Just get Bird and Rodent vectors, and let the mutation give you free symptoms. Devolve only if the mutation gives you a lethal symptom that will spike up the severity level and thus get the world researching. You can see the disease's severity level on Disease Graph page.
Get Water 1 & 2, and upgrade other transmission vectors as you feel necessary. Get Cold Resistance (at least 1), Drug Resistance (at least 1), and Genetic Hardening (again, at least 1, preferably both).
Ideally, you want to have 40+ points (more the merrier) by the time you get "no healthy people left" notice, and the world hasn't even noticed your disease yet. Now get some really lethal symptoms like Total Organ Failure. People will start dropping like flies, research will begin at frantic pace, and after a while, you should see DNA points pouring in. Use those points to get Genetic ReShuffle and/or more lethal symptoms. You can devolve transmission vectors like Water to get a few extra points too, if you want.
That's how I do it anyway. I'm sure there are better strategies out there, but getting Symbiosis abilities should be among the very first things you do, no question about it.
Phosphorus? Pfffft, who needs 'em?? http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/5206/takeyourtime.jpg