WHO Predicts 'Explosion' of Swine Flu Case: "WHO Predicts 'Explosion'
of Swine Flu
Updated: Friday, 21 Aug 2009, 5:36 AM MDT
Published : Friday, 21 Aug 2009, 5:32 AM MDT
By The Associated Press
BEIJING - The World Health Organization is urging nations to speed up their preparations for swine flu.
A WHO official warns there may soon be 'an explosion' in cases until peak transmission of the flu is reached. He says that means most countries may see swine flu cases double every three to four days -- for several months.
He says governments must act quickly to educate the public and prepare their health systems to care for severe cases. He says the swine flu strain poses the greatest threat in developing nations, with underequipped and underfunded health systems.
The swine flu strain has killed almost 1,800 people worldwide. WHO predicts that as many as 2 billion people could become infected in the next two years — nearly one-third of the world's population. The world health group has declared the situation a pandemic.
The last pandemic — the Hong Kong flu of 1968 — killed about 1 million people. Ordinary flu kills about 250,000 to 500,000 people each year."