Swine flu could hit up to 40 percent in US

Swine flu could hit up to 40 percent in US

In a disturbing new projection, health officials say up to 40 percent of Americans could get swine flu this year and next and several hundred thousand could die without a successful vaccine campaign and other measures, Associated Press reported.

The estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are roughly twice the number of those who catch flu in a normal season and add greater weight to hurried efforts to get a new vaccine ready for the fall flu season.

Swine flu has already hit the United States harder than any other nation, but it has struck something of a glancing blow that's more surprising than devastating. The virus has killed about 300 Americans and experts believe it has sickened more than 1 million, comparable to a seasonal flu with the weird ability to keep spreading in the summer.

Health officials say flu cases may explode in the fall, when schools open and become germ factories, and the new estimates dramatize the need to have vaccines and other measures in place.

A world health official said the first vaccines are expected in September and October. The United States expects to begin testing on some volunteers in August, with 160 million doses ready in October.

The CDC came up with the new projections for the virus' spread last month, but it was first disclosed in an interview this week with The Associated Press.

The estimates are based on a flu pandemic from 1957, which killed nearly 70,000 in the United States but was not as severe as the infamous Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. The number of deaths and illnesses from the new swine flu virus would drop if the pandemic peters out or if efforts to slow its spread are successful, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

"Hopefully, mitigation efforts will have a big impact on future cases," he said. Besides pushing flu shots, health officials might urge measures such as avoiding crowded places, handwashing, cough covering and timely use of medicines like Tamiflu.

Because so many more people are expected to catch the new flu, the number of deaths over two years could range from 90,000 to several hundred thousand, the CDC calculated. Again, that is if a new vaccine and other efforts fail.

In a normal flu season, about 36,000 people die from flu and its complications, according to the American Medical Association. That too is an estimate, because death certificates don't typically list flu as a cause of death. Instead, they attribute a fatality to pneumonia or other complications.

Influenza is notoriously hard to predict, and some experts have shied away from a forecast. At a CDC swine flu briefing Friday, one official declined to answer repeated questions about her agency's own estimate.

"I don't think that influenza and its behavior in the population lends itself very well to these kinds of models," said the official, Dr. Anne Schuchat, who oversees the CDC's flu vaccination programs.

The World Health Organization says as many as 2 billion people could become infected in the next two years - nearly a third of the world population. The estimates look at potential impacts in a two-year period because past flu pandemics have occurred in waves over more than one year.

Swine flu has been an escalating concern in Britain and some other European nations, where the virus' late arrival has grabbed attention and some officials at times have sounded alarmed.

In an interview Friday, the WHO's flu chief told the AP the global epidemic is still in its early stages.

"Even if we have hundreds of thousands of cases or a few millions of cases ... we're relatively early in the pandemic," Keiji Fukuda said at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

The first vaccines are expected in September and October, Fukuda said. Other vaccines won't be ready until well into the flu season when a further dramatic rise in swine flu cases is expected.

First identified in April, swine flu has likely infected more than 1 million Americans, the CDC believes, with many of those suffering mild cases never reported. There have been 302 deaths and nearly 44,000 laboratory-identified cases, according to numbers released Friday morning.

Because the swine flu virus is new, most people haven't developed an immunity to it. So far, most of those who have died from it in the United States have had other health problems, such as asthma.

The virus has caused an unusual number of serious illnesses in teens and young adults; seasonal flu usually is toughest on the elderly and very young children.

5.1-magnitude quake hits 20 km S of Mandraki, Greece
5.1-magnitude quake hits 20 km S of Mandraki, Greece
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Loading Bars
Latest
Iraq reports 6,552 new COVID-19 cases, 970,987 in total
More than 805,000 COVID-19 infections detected worldwide over past 24 hours
5.1-magnitude quake hits 20 km S of Mandraki, Greece
Israel reports 142 new COVID-19 cases, 836,882 in total
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
India's sports minister tests positive for COVID-19
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijan's transport sector
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
Turkish scientist works on drug that can ‘kill COVID-19 in 2 days’
Uzbekistan may start production of its own vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year
Russia's Eastwind, Turkmenistan's Turkmensvyaz to sign contract
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Iranian official offers upbeat assessment of progress in nuclear talks
Volume of goods transported by Azerbaijan’s vehicles in 2021 disclosed
Indonesia reports 5,041 new COVID-19 cases, 132 new deaths
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 3 mln - Johns Hopkins University
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
Solar panel station put into operation in Iran’s Razavi Khorasan Province
New auction to be held for Azerbaijani Finance Ministry's mid-term bonds
Georgia increases import of vehicles from Turkey
Kyrgyzstan imposes restrictive measures at airports
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Foreigners to pass simplified visa procedures for 2021 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Serbian FM to visit Tehran today
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,148 more COVID-19 cases, 2,287 recoveries
Armenia falsified Caucasian Albania temples in Azerbaijan - rep of religious community
Iran to send trade attaché to Azerbaijan
Weekly review of major events in Azerbaijan's oil & gas sector
Azerbaijan shares footage from Jabrayil's Dash Veysalli village (VIDEO)
Armenia strived to create history for itself in Azerbaijan's lands - Head of Albanian-Udi community
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 17
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Charak port climbs
Azerbaijani oil prices on rise
VICE News report on Armenia's attack on Azerbaijani Barda nominated for award
Weekly review of main events in ICT sector of Azerbaijan
Earnings from fuel savings in Iran paid to investors
Uzbekistan's CCI, Portuguese Industrial Association establish co-op
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Rosatom, Uzbekistan working on contract for building nuclear power plant
Turkmenistan to create electronic exchange database
IMF calls on Georgia to reduce capital expenditures in case of lockdown
Russia reports a new high of 9,321 coronavirus cases since March 20
Azerbaijan's Albanian-Udi Christian community members visit ancient temple in Tugh - Trend TV (PHOTO)
OSCE MG should force Armenia to follow terms of trilateral statement - Azerbaijan's Parliament
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijan, Turkic Council discuss creation of joint digital tools
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
EU rep should follow int'l law before meeting with separatist in Karabakh - expert
Potential areas of Turkmenistan’s interaction within Visegrad Group+Central Asia framework identified
Georgia reports 1,219 new coronavirus cases for April 17
Georgia holds auction for privatization of state property
Azerbaijani MP talks about spring session of IPA CIS held in Russia's St. Petersburg
Georgia continues to conduct research on Namakhvani HPP
Iran unveils details exports from Maragheh County
Kazakhstan reveals total number of TEU containers shipped along Aktau-Baku feeder line
There have always been good grape varieties in Pirshaghi – white and black Shani - President Aliyev
Participants of Azercell Student Bursary and Internship Programs share their success stories
Iran boosts aluminum ingots production
Azerbaijani police find mortar shells, detonators left by Armenia in Gubadly (VIDEO)
Iran declares amount of loans issued to SMEs
Kazakhstan's revenues from road cargo transportation down
Concept of ensuring security of Afghan section of TAPI signed
Members of Albanian-Udi Christian religious community of Azerbaijan visit liberated Khojavand (PHOTO)
Australia to continue review of COVID vaccinations - health minister
Italian media outlets highlight speech of Azerbaijani president at int'l conference in Baku
Kazakhstan decreases import of Ukraine-made goods y-o-y
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to buy compressors
Azerbaijan sets up structure to work on urban planning in liberated lands
Kazakhstan's oil & gas company opens tender to develop consolidated time standards
Meeting of EU special rep with so-called "FM of Karabakh" promotes separatism, says Azerbaijani expert
Iranian currency rates for April 17
Iran to increase vaccinations as fourth wave of COVID-19 rises
Iran reaches target uranium enrichment
Oil demand to keep on rising in May, June 2021
Work on provision of electricity to Azerbaijan's liberated Sugovushan nearing completion
Bulgaria sees Georgia as valuable partner
Significant number of Georgian citizens register for employment program in Israel
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 caseload up by 2,822
Ukraine receives first batch of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX initiative
IMF corrects estimate on Iran's foreign exchange bank reserves
Azerbaijan attracting foreign investments for renewable energy projects
Uzbekistan to open an embassy in Sweden
Global COVID-19 infection rate approaching highest: WHO
Portugal resumes flights to Brazil, Britain
Turkey reports over 63,000 daily COVID-19 cases
EU eyes to provide grants to Georgian non-profit organizations
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 836,740 in total
Biden signs order keeping Trump-era refugee cap at 15,000
EU-UK trade plunges after Brexit: Eurostat
UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths
UN Security Council approves ceasefire monitors for Libya
North Macedonia vaccinates some 35,000 citizens
Raul Castro resigning from Cuba’s Communist Party
Azerbaijani IT company working on creating new network, server infrastructures
Georgian Economy Ministry to form expert council on Namakhvani HPP
Relations between Russia, Azerbaijan attain degree of strategic alliance - Federation Council Chair of Russian Federal Assembly
Turkish engineers develop fiber that kills coronavirus in minutes
Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves drop to $32.6 billion
Iran’s petrochemical output to reach $40b: Oil Minister
All news