Reports are now suggesting that the swine flu which has already infected people in 30 countries can be as severe as the 1957 “Asian flu” pandemic that was responsible for the death of 2 Million people.
About 4 of 1000 people infected with the new H1N1 virus in Mexico by late April died. Now scientists are trying to determine if the swine flu will mutate and become more deadly as it spreads to the southern hemisphere and back. The virus is more contentious than the seasonal flu. A “Moderate” pandemic like the 1957 Asian flu could kill 14.2 million people and shave 2% from the global economic the first year itself. The swine flu being categorised as “Severe” can do much more.
“While substantial uncertainty remains, clinical severity appears less than that seen in 1918 but comparable with that seen in 1957,” the Science study authors wrote.
So how did the global pandemic flu actually form in the first place? Well, flu pandemics occur when is a strain of the disease to which few people have immunity evolves and began spreading. Pandemics usually after 2 to 3 times a century, scientists have said. A worldwide outbreak as severe as the 1918 Spanish flu might cause 180 million to 360 million deaths, according to a 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The last pandemic that hit this century was in 1968 and the health officials have been anticipating another since the H5N1 virus began spreading widely in birds in 2003.
As of now swine flu has been confirmed 4694 people, according to World Health Organization and the health agency of the United Nations. And 61 people how been killed, the majority being from Mexico where 56 people have been killed and three in the US. The rest are, one from Canada and one from Costa Rica. US tops the list in the most confirmed cases of swine flu which is 2618 cases in 44 states according to the centres for disease control and prevention.
Thailand and Cuba today have reported their country’s first confirmed case of swine flu. Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the former Cuban President Fedel Castro confirmed it today. These figures are not included in the world health organization’s latest tally.
A new study has said that each person infected with swine flu in Mexico in April gave at least 1.4 more people on average. While these figures are in the lower range of transmission for a pandemic, it is quicker than most seasonal flus.
As swine flu continues to spread in many countries across the world in the time of global recession, the swine flu can also be a major factor that melts the economy.
Reports are also confirming that swine flu is more prone to people with asthma and diabetes.