Friday, 8 May 2009

Can science save us from the second wave?

The swine flu outbreak may be winding down in Mexico and causing fewer deaths than feared, but health officials now fear that a more virulent version will return to kill millions. So is the world ready for a killer, autumn wave of swine flu? What is now keeping health officials awake at night is the possibility that a more virulent version will come roaring back and kill millions. Flu pandemics historically come in waves, often getting worse as they go. The deadly one of 1918, which was also the last H1N1 pandemic, did just that. "So did pandemics in 1890, 1847, 1781 and others," says Lone Simonsen of George Washington University.

The HSE 's info leaflet on influenza A(H1N1) is available at