Swine Flu Emerges Suddenly as Next Possible Pandemic
Posted on April 27, 2009
A serious outbreak of swine flu in Mexico that has killed 103 people could become the next pandemic according to experts at WHO and the CDC. A pandemic is not a certainty yet, just a possibility. There have been at least 20 cases in the U.S. with no deaths and just one person was hospitalized. Cases have also been reported in Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, Isreal, France and Spain. Planes with sick passengers from Mexico are currently the main way the virus is spreading.
The swine flu in Mexico has reportedly killed primarily young health people aged 25-45. This raises concern that people are dying not directly from the flu itself but possibly from what's called a cytokine storm. Tara C. Smith, writing at the Aetiology blog, explains more about the cytokine storm. We still do not know for sure how exactly the flu outbreak is killing people in Mexico City.
A Guardian article says that health experts in Mexico suspect that "tens of thousands" may have been infected and recovered.
Across Mexico, more than 1,300 people were tested for suspected swine flu infection and 400 were taken to hospital for checks. Health officials believe that tens of thousands, and possibly more, have been infected but have since recovered.If so, this would greatly reduce the percentage of those who die from the swine flu but it is still too early to ascertain what is going on.