Swine Flu Concerns Diminish In U.S. & Europe. Grow In The Third World


The Swine Flu, or H1N1 epidemic has stopped making headlines in industrialized countries, but in Latin America news about the disease remains on the front cover of newspapers.

The lead story on La Prensa Grafica, El Salvador’s major newspaper, was the latest announcement from the World Health Organization which announced on Tuesday that deaths caused by H1N1 worldwide have reached 700 since the outbreak in May. No major newspaper in the U.S. reported that story as of Tuesday, 8:07 a.m. Pacific Time.

But the dwindling coverage about H1N1 in the United States shouldn’t be a surprise according to the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research. WIN conducted a poll showing that global concern over the flu epidemic in industrialized countries such as the US and Europe is diminishing. The reason? People in these countries feel that they’re in a much better position to combat the epidemic, even though full scale preparation may not yet be in place.

Snippet from WIN’s statement:

USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Japan, and Mexico are relatively not concerned with Swine Flu, despite feeling that they are not prepared for pandemic proportions of an outbreak. Countries perceiving themselves as most prepared and least worried of an outbreak are predominantly in Western Europe (Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, as well as Iceland).

WIN found that there are countries such as France and China that are well prepared, but remain concerned over H1N1 outbreaks. But it is in countries like Bolivia, Argentina and other Latin American countries that the flu has people reading the news everyday and listening carefully to the WHO, according to the poll. These are countries with higher concentrations of people living in poverty and where resources are very limited.

There are over 125,000 confirmed lab cases of people infected with H1N1, according to the WHO. And although Americans and Europeans may not think of it as a big deal since the flu has caused only mild symptoms and recovery has been quick, the WHO believes that cases will spike in the northern hemisphere in the autumn months when the weather gets colder.


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