Melinda Smith
VOA News
July 29, 2009

[efoods]The World Health Organization predicts the H1N1 Swine Flu virus will infect two billion people, or one out of every three persons, over the next two years. While this flu has already killed 800, the WHO says thousands more could die unless an effective vaccine is developed soon.

This year’s pandemic spread around the globe with record-breaking speed. It has taken less than two months for the H1N1 swine flu to spread, while previous pandemics took six months or longer.

Yet Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization warns this global outbreak is still in the early stages. “We have a very large global population, and it is quite clear that we’ll continue to see spread of this virus through countries, and then among countries,” he said.

Most of the patients have been teenagers, between 12 and 17 years old. But the virus is spreading more deeply into many communities and the WHO says the average age of patients now appears to be getting slightly older.

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