Global Action Needed to Check Swine Flu

After swine flu outbreak from Mexico, governments of many countries are on high alert as experts wait fretfully to observe if it might trigger an endemic warned of for years. Besides, many mediums have been put to use across the affected countries to advise people on spotting symptoms of the deadly disease.

US, UK, Canada, Newzeland, North Korea, UAE, France are prominent countries where health department have been put on alert, with strict instruction to discover the potential cases and immediately provide the medical aide. The deadly disease was first reported in Mexico, then New York and then also in Canada. According to health officials, symptoms of the disease are much the same as bird flue’s – fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue.

Recently, the World Health Organisation has appealed for all countries to beef up surveillance. In affected places, everybody is checking their stocks of Tamiflu, and comments from health officials and public commentators vary from the calm and cautious to the downright scary

“If swine influenza continues to spread the way it is spreading, I don’t see how we will avoid it. If we have one or two people coming in, the chances of it spreading are low but if we get lots of people arriving with it, it could spread very quickly,” opines Nick Phin, of the UK’s Health Protection Agency’s pandemic influenza unit, adding, “Officials are working on the basis that between 15% and 50% of the population might contract the illness.”

A US official shows the same unawareness of potential threat and it management. “We really don’t know ulimately what the size or seriousness of this outbreak is likely to be,” said Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security US. On the other hand, the Daily Mail’s science editor Michael Hanlon views, “it probably isn’t time , quite yet, to be heading for the hills.”

On potential threat, he said that if luck favours the people, there will be something like a rerun of the Sars or bird flu scares seen earlier this decade – scary but containable outbreaks of disease which have (so far) killed a few dozen to a few hundred people.

Warning people he added that if luck does not favour – experts have stressed it so far – the would be the beginning of  a global catastrophe that could kill tens or even hundreds of millions.

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