Oct 14, 2009

Report: swine flu less deadly than seasonal flu

A top disease surveillance expert says swine flu is killing fewer people than seasonal flu.

Denis Coulombier, who heads the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control's preparedness and response unit, warned that a second wave of swine flu infections could be expected within weeks.

In an interview with AFP, Coulombier said the response to the virus so far had been appropriate, and it was right to prepare for "the worst plausible scenario".

"We had a period of anxiety because the first phase developed very, very quickly and the situation was unclear in Mexico" where the A(H1N1) virus was first reported.

In the United States, the Obama administration has a vested interest in keeping the disease in the headlines even though swine flu has not turned into a pandemic.

Maybe the critics were right when they said the Obama administration is determined to never let a crisis slip by without using it to political advantage.

Without the scare of a swine flu pandemic, universal healthcare may have died on the vine months ago.

Back to the report:

At least 4,525 people have died from swine flu since April and there have been more than 378,223 laboratory-confirmed cases globally, according to the World Health Organization.

That puts the death rate at slightly over one percent which is very low!