Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why widespread fear of swine flu is unwarranted

Widespread concern may be appropriate, but widespread fear is unwarranted -- so far. Reporter Helen Branswell of the Canadian Press has done an article that cogently explains why the World Health Organization has designated the current swine flu outbreak as Phase 4, not the pandemic level, Phase 5. Experience suggests that many flu strains fail to infect more than two or three generations of individuals. In other words, a virus can move from an animal to a first human, from the first human to a second human, and maybe from the second human to a third human. Beyond that is much less likely. If it did occur, then a pandemic -- an infection established in a community and spreading -- would be the likely consequence. CTV.ca | WHO looking for signs of ongoing swine flu spread

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