Swine Flu Mixed with HIV can be “Deadly,” According to WHO

Health officials are worried that the H1N1 "swine" flu may come in a more deadly form.  In an interview with London’s Financial Times, head of the World Health Organization Dr. Margaret Chan warned that the H1N1 swine flu virus could return in the fall in yet another mutated form that is far more dangerous that what is presenting today.

According to WHO, there are 985 cases of H1N1 infection in more than 20 countries in a matter or weeks, while there are 286 confirmed cases of swine flu in 36 states in the United States.  Despite the outbreak, both the U.S. and Mexican health officials expressed confidence that the disease is spreading slowly.

The strain of swine flu that has affected several people across the globe has a combination of genetic building blocks coming from pigs, humans, and birds.  It is theorized that the virus mutated in pigs that may have been exposed to an avian version of the flu, before mutating into its present form.  Disease experts are especially concerned that the virus’ ability to mutate could eventually see it combine with human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.

Health experts warn that such result would be a devastating global health challenge similar to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak that has infected more than 500 million people, or about 5/8 of all people on the planet, and killed more than 50 million.  The death toll has dwarfed the deaths during both World Wars I and II combined.

In the face of such possibility, Dr. Chan told in the interview that, in the face of that potential threat, the WHO’s actions were not an overreaction.  Although the virus did not infect high numbers of people at first, the disease could be back in a few months or so, this time in a more deadly form.

 
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