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WHO Warns of Possible Pandemic as Mexico Seeks to Contain Swine Flu
Date:4/25/2009

does not normally infect humans. However, human infections do occur, usually after exposure to pigs. Symptoms resemble those of the regular flu, including sore throat, coughing and fever.

Dr. Marc Siegel, associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, said the current outbreak was unlikely to become a pandemic. "Swine flu could cause the next pandemic, but it is not likely that this thing is going to erupt and take over the world," he said. Even though the virus is being transmitted human-to-human, "that's a far cry from becoming a pandemic," he added.

Dr. Martin J. Blaser, chairman of the Department of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, also believes it's unlikely the outbreak will trigger a pandemic.

"The CDC has been doing more surveillance for flu," Blaser said. "So it could be that these cases have been happening all the time, but we just never saw them. Or it is possible that it is a new strain of influenza that is emerging or it's a dangerous new combination. That's why we have to watch it closely."

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor of medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; Martin J. Blaser, M.D., chairman of the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City; April 25, 2009, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Atlanta; The New York Times; Associated Press


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