Let's hope that the more pessimistic estimates of swine flu spread aren't accurate. If so, things could get a bit ugly in October, when another outbreak of the H1N1 virus is expected to peak.
Unfortunately, it's looking like the first batch of a new H1N1 vaccine is not going to arrive in time to protect most Americans from the infection, as authorities are expecting a big H1N1 flu outbreak in late September.
To significantly slow the virus, public health officials say, 70 percent of the U.S. population would need to be vaccinated prior to the pandemic's establishing itself again. However, even if the vaccine was somehow delivered faster, only 45 million doses will be available.
While swine flu infections continue to produce mild infections in most cases, the virus is still a threat to some, including people with chronic illnesses, those with immune disorders, pregnant women and healthcare workers.
Ultimately, as things stand, authorities are estimating that the pandemic will affect 32 percent of the entire population of a given city or country.
To learn more about the spread of the virus:
- read this HealthDay News piece