During a press briefing on Friday, Anne Schuchat of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the 27,717 cases that have been reported in the US, including over 3,000 hospitalizations and 127 fatalities, are only a fraction of the likely more than one million people in the US who have fallen ill with the flu. She also noted the unusual pattern of a continued rise in afflictions despite a season change.
Voice of Anne Schuchat – US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (F): In the U.S., we're still experiencing a steady increase in the number of reported cases.Of course, reported cases are really just the tip of the iceberg. The number of new cases that were reported to us this past week was actually the largest number we've had reported since the beginning of the outbreak. Influenza-like illness increase during week 24 in 6 of the 10 regions compared to week 23. That's unusual. Usually this time of year, things would be going down instead of going up.
VOICE: Meanwhile, French officials have announced that they expect swine flu cases may affect 25 to 50 percent of the country’s population by fall, also noting that the flu had continued to spread during the summer season. The United Kingdom has similar expectations, as health officials have been unable to curtail the spread of cases, which have reached about 3,600.
Globally, the World Health Organization has confirmed 60,000 who have become ill in 113 countries, with now more than 260 fatalities. First cases have most recently been reported in Serbia, Lithuania, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Egypt also found the first case in a pilgrim returning from Mecca, and Egyptian top cleric Sheikh Ali Gomaa announced that all pilgrims returning from Mecca would be quarantined.
In addition, first fatalities were suffered in Guatemala and Thailand in the last week.We join in deep concern with all countries and citizens affected by the swine flu pandemic as we pray for it to subside. We also note once more that such viruses are being shown to originate and evolve in animal factory farms. May we each contribute to the prevention of future, worse ailments by adopting healthier lifestyles, such as the organic vegan diet, that minimize viral risk and ensure our vitality.