Swine Flu ‘Really Does Have Full Pandemic Potential’

(BBC) – PROFESSOR FERGUSON, who sits on the World Health Organization’s emergency committee, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘This virus really does have full pandemic potential. It is likely to spread around the world in the next six to nine months and, when it does so, it will affect about one-third of the world’s population.

‘To put that into context, normal seasonal flu probably affects around 10% of the world’s population every year, so we are heading for a flu season which is perhaps three times worse than usual — not allowing for whether this virus is more severe than normal seasonal flu viruses.’

His study suggests swine flu could kill four in every 1,000 infected people.

Professor Ferguson said his findings confirmed that decisions must be taken swiftly on vaccine production.

‘We really need to be prepared; particularly for the autumn. At the moment, the virus is not spreading fast in the northern hemisphere, because we are outside the normal flu season; but, come the autumn, it is likely to cause a really major epidemic.

‘One of the key decisions, which has to be made this week by the world community, is how much do we switch over current vaccine production for seasonal flu to make a vaccine against this particular virus?

‘I think those decisions need to be made quickly.’

… (13/05/2009) – Second Case Of Swine Flu Confirmed

… (11/06/2009) – WHO Declares Swine Flu Pandemic

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