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Schmitt, Peter-Philipp

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 22/07/2009

A moderate pandemic

The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes the swine flu as a "moderate pandemic": "Almost all those who have died of the flu were already in poor health or weakened prior to infection. Cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes have become the illnesses of our prosperity; they increase human vulnerability to the H1NI virus in industrial nations just as Aids and tuberculosis do in underdeveloped states. … For instance in the UK where the swine flu is spreading particularly quickly and several people have already died of it there is also a high incidence of measles at the moment in the northwest of the country. And holidaymakers in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and North Africa are easily infected with hepatitis A as a result of eating contaminated food such as mussels and shellfish. The swine flu is a moderate pandemic: Less than one in five of those infected with the virus die at present. The WHO and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut are confident that a vaccine against the pandemic could be ready by September."

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