Despite mass media protestations to the contrary, the World Health Organization (WHO) last night confirmed there has been a total of only ten deaths from Swine Flu (Influenza A(H1N1)) – far fewer than the 150+ figure which is being reported.
In the statement, issued at 23:30 GMT on 1st May 2009, the WHO stated that 13 countries have officially reported 367 infections, with only ten confirmed fatalities from the virus popularly labelled ‘Swine Flu’.
The disease is not airborne, instead passing by droplets. Inhaling coughs and sneezes, or direct contact without washing hands are ways in which the virus can spread.
Further, the WHO confirmed that “There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products.” This suggests that any countries currently boycotting pork products are overreacting unnecessarily.
Countries with confirmed cases of the virus include:
Austria (1), Canada (34), China, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (1), Denmark (1), Germany (4), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).
The only deaths recorded to date are in Mexico, which has had nine fatalities, and the United States which has had one (infant) fatality. Mexico has had 156 confirmed cases, and the US 141, which would suggest the risk associated with this flu is lower than that which has been widely reported by many news outlets.
To view the full statement, visit the World Health Organization report at http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_05_01a/en/index.html