UK braces for 100,000 swine flu cases a day
LONDON - Britain faces a projected 100,000 new swine flu cases a day by the end of August and must revamp its flu strategy to cope, the nation’s health minister said yesterday.
Britain has officially reported 7,447 cases of swine flu, including three fatalities, but officials acknowledge the real number of cases is far higher, since many with the virus have not been tested.
Britain is the hardest-hit nation in Europe amid the global swine flu epidemic. Many flu experts believe numbers could jump exponentially now that the virus is entrenched. Because swine flu, or H1N1, is a new virus, few people have any natural immunity, allowing the virus to spread rapidly.
“Cases are doubling every week, and on this trend we could see over 100,000 cases per day by the end of August,’’ Health Minister Andy Burnham told the House of Commons yesterday.