Swine flu potentially devastating to less equipped nations - 17 Sep 2009
With health authorities saying that total number of cases is too high to attempt a count, swine flu fatalities globally have reached 3,751. The death toll rose in Venezuela to 55, and in Oman to 18, while Mozambique reported her first death, and Northern Ireland, UK, reported her second.
Hong Kong reported 580 new cases within 24 hours, while Serbia’s infection rates rose to 69. In New Zealand, Otago University’s Dr. Michael Baker reported that swine flu affected the indigenous Maori population and Pacific Islanders at higher rates, where hospitalization rates were much higher than between 43 and 94.2 per 100,000 people, compared to Europeans who had hospitalization rates of 14.1 per 100,000.
Because those contracting a severe case of the disease often need costly care, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that swine flu’s impact is already more severe in developing nations.
Aggravating factors include a reduced health facilities, staff, and medical supplies, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation.
Meanwhile, researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) performed autopsies on over 90 people who died of the swine flu virus.
In those for whom the virus was fatal, the virus had hidden itself deep within the lungs, causing acute respiratory distress syndrome, an often fatal condition in which patients are left gasping for breath.
We sorrow for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one or fear this new contagion. Our prayers for a healthier world population made immune to all such harms through a shift to the preventative, humane, and virtuous plant-based lifestyle.