Thursday, June 11, 2009
Swine Flu Chart from Economist.com
THE World Health Organisation raised the threat level for swine flu on Thursday June 11th to pandemic status, the highest possible. It is the first influenza pandemic since 1968, when Hong Kong flu killed 1m people. Almost 28,000 cases of swine flu and 141 deaths have been confirmed in 74 countries since the A(H1N1) virus was first identified in Mexico in late March. In Australia alone, the number of people infected has jumped from around 500 to 1,200 in one week. However, in a new paper published in Nature on Thursday, researchers suggest that the strain had probably been in existence for months before it was isolated, highlighting the need for good surveillance.