Although the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency has confirmed more than 540 cases, Aberdeen University bacteriologist Professor Hugh Pennington projects higher numbers, stating, “I think it would be very reasonable to say we've got at least twice as many cases as we know about.” Likewise, in New York City, where about 30 people were hospitalized in the last four days and an eighth life just lost, officials say the approximately 623 total confirmed cases do not reflect the true spread of the disease.
The total global number of confirmed cases is some 22,000 people in 71 countries with about 130 fatalities. The Dominican Republic most recently joined other Caribbean nations in confirming her first case. In the northern hemisphere, although the new swine flu strain began later than the normal flu season in April, it has extended long past the normal time people are concerned about influenza. In the southern hemisphere, where the winter season has set in, Victoria state in Australia currently has the highest rate of swine flu cases per capita in the world.
Our hearts go out to the swine flu-afflicted and we send our sympathies to the family and loved ones of those who have lost their lives. Many thanks, Professor Pennington, your colleagues and all other world government officials dedicated to protecting the health of fellow citizens. May the flu’s presence soon diminish, as we turn toward life-sparing practices and eliminate the unnecessary farm activities that breed new ailments such as these.