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WHO predicts one-third of population will have swine flu

With cases confirmed in 160 of 193 countries across the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that two billion people could contract the swine flu, based on previous pandemic patterns. Indeed, WHO has already stated that laboratory identified cases alone are increasing at a rate too high to monitor.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports that 979 917 people have now perished from swine flu, with 159,224 154,985 officially confirmed cases.

In Europe, swine flu cases in England have doubled in the last week, while consultation rates with medical doctors in Wales increased 40 percent overnight. The UK national swine flu website, which was set up to help relieve some of the burden to doctors by allowing online visitors to assess their own symptoms, collapsed immediately after its launch due to the overload of more than 9 million visits per hour on its first day.

As more people become affected, France has urged those with flu symptoms to seek their family doctor rather than the hospital, and is reserving laboratory confirmation to higher risk groups. The swine flu also continues to claim lives, including those of 30 people in Brazil in just 24 hours.

Experts are now saying they are wary that the true deadliness of the virus remains to be seen, especially when autumn arrives in the northern hemisphere. This also reminds us that new and more lethal viral mutations are continually possible as long as animal farms exist to incubate new virus strains.

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