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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swine flu or H1N1

Athe end of 2008, the swine flu or H1N1 looks a lot like the pattern of the Spanish flu of 1918-19 which killed millions, when the population was a lot smaller. And this version has the potential of actually causing a "double dip" in the world economies. It is that strong with that much potential. And now we have a United Nations report that looks very serious.

The swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world's poorest nations says a UN report. The disclosure will provoke concerns that health officials will not be able to stem the growth of the worldwide H1N1 pandemic in developing countries. If the virus takes hold in the poorest nations, millions could die and the economies of fragile countries could be destroyed.

Millions could die right here in America too.

Gregory Hartl of WHO said the report required an urgent response from rich nations. "There needs to be recognition that the whole world is affected by this pandemic and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We have seen how H1N1 has taken hold in richer nations and in the southern hemisphere. We have been given fair warning and must act soon," he said.

The report was drawn up by UN officials over the last two months. It was commissioned in July after Ban ki-moon, the UN's secretary general, expressed concern that the H1NI virus could have a severe impact on the world's poorest countries. It paints a disastrous picture for the world's most vulnerable people unless there is immediate help.

The UN's request for the money comes as the virus begins to establish itself in some of the world's most vulnerable countries. Health officials said that the African continent had recorded 8,187 confirmed cases of swine flu and 41 deaths. Swine flu was declared a pandemic in June and has since been identified in 180 countries.

Pandemic experts believe that the western world, including Britain, is facing a second wave of the virus.

The "Spanish" influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, which caused 50 million deaths worldwide, remains an ominous warning to public health.

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