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Swine flu could sicken over 2 billion in 2 years Pandemic still in early stages, WHO flu chief says;
vaccines expected by fall
CDC intensifies swine flu effort
July 24: Amid warnings that the pandemic could sicken up
to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years, the
CDC is intensifying efforts to get people vaccinated. NBC’s
Rehema Ellis reports.
Nightly News
Timeline
Learn about when the outbreak may have started and how world governments reacted.
msnbc.com Swine flu videos
CDC: Swine flu may hit forty percent in U.S.
July 26: The CDC has announced that almost half of
Americans could end up contracting the H1N1 virus within two
years. Dr. Ruth Karron of Johns Hopkins University joins
MSNBC to discuss the report.
FDA pledges to rush approval for swine flu vaccine
UK offers online swine flu assessment
NIH asks for Swine Flu vaccine volunteers
Swine flu vaccine could be delayed?

Interactive map
A state-by-state look at confirmed cases in the United States.
msnbc.com Learn about the virus found in pigs and why it is causing concern among health officials.
msnbc.com Community
msnbc.com news servicesupdated 11:56 a.m. PT, Fri., July 24, 2009 ATLANTA - U.S. health officials say swine flu could strike up to 40 percent of Americans over the next two years and as many as several hundred thousand could die if a vaccine campaign and other measures aren’t successful.
Those estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mean about twice the number of people who usually get sick in a normal flu season would be struck by swine flu. Officials said those projections would drop if a new vaccine is ready and widely available, as U.S. officials expect.
The U.S. may have as many as 160 million doses of swine flu vaccine available sometime in October, and U.S. tests of the new vaccine are to start shortly, federal officials said this week.
The infection estimates are based on a flu pandemic from 1957, which killed nearly 70,000 in the United States but was not as severe as the infamous Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. But influenza is notoriously hard to predict. The number of deaths and illnesses would drop if the pandemic peters out or if efforts to slow its spread are successful, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.
A CDC official said the agency came up with the estimate last month, but it was first disclosed in an interview with The Associated Press.
“Hopefully, mitigation efforts will have a big impact on future cases,” Skinner said.
In a normal flu season, about 36,000 people die from flu and its complications, according to American Medical Association estimates. Because so many more people are expected to catch the new flu, the number of deaths over two years could range from 90,000 to several hundred thousand, the CDC calculated. Again, that is if a new vaccine and other efforts fail.
The World Health Organization says as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population. The estimates look at potential impacts over a two-year period because past flu pandemics have occurred in waves over more than one year.
Virus impossible to predict
While manufacturers rush to develop a vaccine to stop the spread of
H1N1 virus across the globe, the WHO's flu chief says the swine flu will
likely mutate over a long period of time. Keiji Fukuda, WHO's Assistant
Director-General for Health Security and Environment, says its
impossible to predict what shape the virus may take.
"Even if we have hundreds of thousands of cases or a few millions of cases . we're relatively early in the pandemic, "he said in an interview at WHO's headquarters in Geneva.
Keiji Fukuda, WHO's flu chief, says there must be no doubt over the safety of swine flu vaccines before they are given to "For the moment we haven't seen any changes in the behavior of the virus. What we are seeing still is a geographic expansion across countries," Hartl said, while warning that the flu could mutate with the onset of colder temperatures.
"We do have to be aware that there could be changes and we have to be prepared for those." CLICK FOR RELATED CONTENT

Fukuda says the virus hasn't yet shown a widespread resistance to the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, although a .
Also Friday, the WHO said the virus is starting to infect older people, and pregnant women and the obese are at highest risk.
In a statement, the agency said school-age children remain most affected by the newly discovered virus that has been spreading fast in schools and is gaining momentum in broad communities alongside seasonal flu.
"It remains a top priority to determine which groups of people are at highest risk of serious disease so steps to best protect them can be taken," it said, estimating that vaccine manufacturers should have H1N1 shots ready soon.
At least 50 governments worldwide have placed orders or are negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to secure supplies of vaccines against the H1N1 strain, which are still being developed and tested.
"We expect the first doses to be available for human use in early autumn of the northern hemisphere," Hartl said.
The WHO is trying to ensure that health workers in the world's poorest countries can be vaccinated against the strain so that their hospitals and medical clinics can stay open.
Rich nations have already have already pre-ordered most of the vaccine's available stock. But two manufacturers have promised to donate 150 million doses and the Geneva-based United Nations agency is negotiating with other producers for further doses which would be earmarked for the least developed countries, he said.
Hartl did not name the donor companies. Leading vaccines makers
include Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis, Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline and
Solvay.

CLICK FOR RELATED CONTENT

It is still unclear if one or two jabs will be required for protection against the virus — a never-before-seen combination of swine, bird and human flu strains. Its emergence and international transmission caused the WHO to declare in June that a full pandemic is under way.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report___________________________________ School closings eyed as swine flu toll tops 700 Health officials mull how best to slow virus if infections
surge in the fall
Timeline
Learn about when the outbreak may have started and how world governments reacted.
msnbc.com Swine flu videos
CDC: Swine flu may hit forty percent in U.S.
July 26: The CDC has announced that almost half of
Americans could end up contracting the H1N1 virus within two
years. Dr. Ruth Karron of Johns Hopkins University joins
MSNBC to discuss the report.
FDA pledges to rush approval for swine flu vaccine
UK offers online swine flu assessment
NIH asks for Swine Flu vaccine volunteers
Swine flu vaccine could be delayed?

Interactive map
A state-by-state look at confirmed cases in the United States.
msnbc.com Learn about the virus found in pigs and why it is causing concern among health officials.
msnbc.com updated 9:37 a.m. PT, Tues., July 21, 2009
School closings eyed as swine flu toll tops 700 Health officials mull how best to slow virus if infections
surge in the fall
GENEVA - Students across Europe may have their summer holidays extended, some Muslim nations are warning pregnant women not to attend the hajj and China is quarantining hundreds of foreign students. It's all part of a global effort to slow the spread of swine flu until a vaccine becomes widely available — but experts and governments are divided on how well the measures will really work.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that deaths from the new H1N1 virus have doubled in the past three weeks, rising to over 700 from about 330 at the start of July. "We expect to see more cases and deaths in the future," WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi told The Associated Press in Geneva. WHO gave no breakdown of the deaths, but as of last week, the United States reported 263 deaths, Canada had 45 deaths and Britain had 29. According to WHO's last update on July 6, Mexico reported 119 deaths. Yet even Tuesday's figure of 700 deaths may seriously underestimate the true toll because not all swine flu cases are being picked up due to testing limitations. The race is now on to develop and produce a vaccine that is effective against the global swine flu strain, but estimates for when such a jab will be available range from September to December.
An Australian pharmaceutical company said it will begin trials Wednesday of its experimental swine flu vaccine.
CSL Ltd. will test the vaccine on 240 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 64 starting at Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia's south, the company and media reports said.
The trial will involve participants receiving two injections of the vaccine, three weeks apart, and will compare a standard dosage with an increased dosage. Doctors will be looking to find at what dose volunteers develop an appropriate immune response.
Dr. Rachel David, speaking for the company, said 400 children will also be involved in the vaccine trial. "We're talking about kids aged between 6 months and 9 years and it involves two injections and two blood tests, so four needles to monitor the results," she was quoted as saying by Australia's ABC News. School closings could slow spread
In the meantime, the U.N. health agency is working with nations
around the world to figure out what countries can do to tackle the
expected explosion in cases later this year, when students and workers
in the northern hemisphere return from summer vacation.
In a medical study released Tuesday, experts said school closures may be among the most effective measures to slow the spread of swine flu but warned of a considerable economic downside to the proposal.
Religious leaders, too, have been drawn into the debate after authorities in Jordan and health officials at a conference in Saudi Arabia recommended that people thought to be most at risk, including pregnant women and those with chronic diseases, refrain from performing the hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year.
Arab health ministers are holding an emergency meeting Wednesday in Cairo to come up with a unified plan to confront the pandemic. In New Zealand, the Roman Catholic Church banned priests from placing Communion wafers on the tongues of worshippers, while Chilean authorities suspended a northern religious celebration, prompting protests from the faithful. "The key question is whether citizens will accept the measures governments impose," said Christian Drosten, head of the Institute for Virology at the University of Bonn, Germany. "You need to get the population on board, otherwise your efforts won't work," he said. "Once people take the disease seriously, you'll begin to see the kind of social distancing that limits infection." "But it's all a question of culture," Drosten added. "What works in Europe may not work in other countries, and vice versa." China's practice of forcibly quarantining visitors has caused bewilderment elsewhere, particularly when foreign tourists have been sealed off in hotels for days on just the suspicion of infection. In Britain, health officials' suggestion that women could put off planning to have children due to the global outbreak was met with ridicule — since the swine flu pandemic may last years. One measure comes up again and again — school closures — but it has its own risks. Slowing the pace of the disease
A paper published Tuesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical
journal argued that closing schools can help break the chain of
transmission, slowing the pace of the disease, lessening the burden on
health care systems and reducing the peak in worker absenteeism.
But the paper, written by researchers at London's Imperial College, also noted the considerable economic costs as parents are forced to stay home to look after their children. France's Education Ministry has already prepared nearly 300 hours of educational programming for radio and television to allow those affected by school closures to follow their lessons, the Le Parisien daily reported. The experience of school closures in the United States during the early days of the epidemic may prove to be the best guide. Initially, authorities recommended that affected schools close for two weeks if there was a suspected case, but when the virus turned out to be milder than feared they switched to advising parents just to keep sick students home. Schools could still close a large number of students and staff were out sick. "The best place for healthy kids is in school, where they can learn, where they can be educated, and where many of them get breakfast and lunch," Dr. Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. Apart from school closures, WHO experts are also examining other measures including postponing mass gatherings such as sports events and concerts, Bhatiasevi said. That measure could be very unpopular worldwide, since national soccer leagues as well as U.S. football and Major League baseball all have heavy fall schedules. In Switzerland, supermarket chains are even considering requiring customers to disinfect their hands and put on face masks as they enter the store. "We can put these measures in place as quickly as we get food into the stores," said Urs Peter Naef, a spokesman for Migros, Switzerland's biggest chain. Ultimately, the responsibility to decide what to do to keep the pandemic under control rests with individual governments, WHO spokeswoman Bhatiasevi said. "Different countries could be facing a pandemic at different levels at different times," she said. "It is really up to countries to consider what mitigation efforts suit them."

Source: http://raysoftruth.tv/articles/A1H1%20New%20Info.pdf

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