Swine flu may be more threatening to vulnerable groups - 17 Aug 2009  
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The swine flu has been unrelenting in its toll across the globe, with 228,921 cases officially reported in 168 countries and territories, and 2,084people who perished.

Experts remind that the actual numbers of afflicted are too high to count. With more than 2,000 confirmed cases, South Korea has now reported her first death.

In the United States,the past week has seen a jump of  47 new fatalities to a total of  477. Hospitalizations have also increased by 15 percent, or over 1,000 new patients out of some 7,500 total. In Panama, a pregnant woman who succumbed to the swine flu highlighted the susceptibility of both expectant mothers and those with compromised immunity.

Chronic disease and malnutrition are the main reasons why Australian Aborigines are also becoming stricken with swine flu at higher rates than most.

Although representing just 2.5 percent of the population, they have five times the rate of hospitalization and fatality from the swine flu virus. Similarly, in Manitoba, Canada, the First Nations indigenous people have fallen ill with the virus seven times more frequently than the general population.

We pray for our fellow world citizens lost or fallen ill to this pervasive virus, and wish for the resiliency of families, indigenous and non-indigenous alike.

Even as we appreciate government efforts to curb the flu’s effects, let us work to halt this and other worse epidemics by stopping their animal-based source and choosing instead the life-sustaining veg diet.