Swine flu cases becoming too numerous to count - 18 July 2009  
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Swine flu cases becoming too numerous to count.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the 2009 swine flu pandemic has spread across the globe with unprecedented speed. According to the European Centre for disease prevention and control, the official count stands at 130,733 confirmed cases in 137 countries, with 702 who have succumbed to the virus.

However, the World Health Organization has announced that it will no longer provide confirmed case reports, as epidemiologists concur that such counts are almost meaningless, with actually millions who are suspected to be infected without having been confirmed in laboratories.

Indeed, this past week, the number of people in England and Wales reporting flu-like symptoms to their doctor increased to 40,000 people per week, which is putting pressure on the National Health Services. Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson estimates as many as 60 percent of the British population could become infected, while the Ministry of Health forecasts that 65,000 people could die of the swine flu in the United Kingdom. People are also uniting to discuss how to address the illness.

South American health ministers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, met on Wednesday to coordinate responses in an attempt to halt the alarmingly rapid swine flu growth rate. In the US, pigs on a hog farm in North Carolina, USA were the first to have ever been known to have suffered from a form of the current swine flu virus in 1998, which spread to 20 percent of the US pig population by 1999.

Recently, a Canadian study found that across the country, there is 93% correlation between the number of pigs and the number of human swine flu cases in the same district or region. Moreover, scientists found a 99 percent correlation between the number of pig farms and the number of human swine flu cases at the province level. In other words, swine flu is far more common and severe in areas with pig factory farms. For example, in Quebec province, which has the largest pig population at 4.3 million, residents are twice as likely to be hospitalized and 60% more likely to die from the swine flu than any other Canadian province.

Such concern has led citizens in North Carolina, USA, also with high pig farm concentrations, to urge their governor to address human health problems created by factory pig farms. Not only swine flu, but also other increasingly drug resistant diseases are arising from pig and other factory farms, due to the routine use of antibiotics in the livestock's feed. In the US, where 70% of all antibiotics go to farm animals, bacterial infections claim 18,000 lives each year, which is more than all the AIDS fatalities in the country.

We salute all governments, health organizations and personnel for your dedicated service in assisting all those afflicted with swine flu. Our sincere sympathies to all who have lost loved ones to animal agriculture-related illnesses, as we pray for the safe and full recovery of those suffering from such diseases. Let us all turn to the immunity restoring organic vegan lifestyle to herald a more vibrantly wholesome world.

http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSLG309223 http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/notes/h1n1_surveillance_20090710/en/index.html