Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Is swine flu getting worse?

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No, says the U.S. federal government, but officials finally have enough data to give a good picture of the pandemic and it isn’t pretty. The CDC estimates that 22 million Americans caught swine flu in the first six months of the pandemic and 3,900 people died.

This includes 540 children.

So why the big jump in numbers? In a country of 300 million people, it takes some time to do a count. The US doesn’t have an organized public health system and states and cities lack enough staff to crunch the numbers in real-time. So the CDC takes a representative, detailed sampling from 10 states and then extrapolates this to the total US population. The latest figures are the first to give a good estimate of how extensive the pandemic is so far.

The CDC is pushing vaccines but at the same time, supply is spotty and people are often suspicious of them. Americans are not alone in this mistrust, by the way – check here for an unpdate on what is happening in Europe.  And here is one creative way to help prevent the spread…

from Maggie Fox:

Is swine flu an investment opportunity?

You can prevent swine flu by washing your hands and keeping away from sick people, but how do you make money off of it?  Some smaller companies such as Vical and Novavax hope the pandemic might make a short cut for them.

In general vaccines are not lucrative money-makers but this could change.

And then there are always the big antiviral makers. CDC's new guidelines do not offer hope for much more market for them, however. They recommend preserving these drugs for people who really need them.

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