News in brief: September 2009
The A/H1N1 swine influenza virus might infect as many as two billion people in the next two years, or one out of every three people on the planet, the World Health Organization has predicted.
The global outbreak has already killed 800 people. The virus has spread rapidly and world health officials have given up publishing counts of how many people have been affected.
Keiji Fukuda of WHO warned that the outbreak would continue to spread. “Even if we have hundreds of thousands of cases or a few millions of cases, we’re relatively early in the pandemic,” he said.
“One of the things that is relatively clear is that we will continue to see spread of the virus.”
Ghana, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia have declared that they have eliminated blinding trachoma, becoming the latest countries to rid themselves of the eye infection that is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide.