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Swine flu targets people below their 30’s

03 August 2009 / 14:08:06  GRReporter
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The virus does spread fast indeed but in the majority of cases symptoms are mild and mortality rates are kept to their minimums, said Panos Efstatiou - director of the National Health Center. Mr Efstatiou admits that weaknesses in the health system and hospitals are obvious, and a further 100 emergency units will start functioning immediately. Concerning the target group for the virus, it becomes clear that people above their 60's have developed an immunity from their past flu experiences, unlike little children who do not have the necessary antibodies. Furthermore, the fact that it's summer and people are constantly on the move does contribute to the quick dissemination of the virus. Specialists however advise people not to change their lifestyles.

In the meantime, Ministry of Education is drafting a proposal, according to which the start of the new academic year will be delayed as a precaution for children.  

A recent survey, held among a number of scientists, reveals that people are panicking excessively, with 87% respondents arguing that swine-flue related anxiety is extreme.

Experts, on the other hand, remind us the events surrounding the bird-flue in 2006, when panic among people did indeed cause a number of tourist trips to be cancelled.

Compared to previous cases, the current flue pandemic is not as disastrous as before. Experts are drawing parallels with the Spanish flue of 1918-1919, which claimed the life of between 40 and 50 million people. According to the presently prevalent optimistic scenario, the H1N1 virus has proved fatal in only 816 of the carriers, out of a total of 134 503 confirmed cases around the world.

From an economic point of view, severe losses are expected in the fields of tourism, public catering, and retailing, due to people's phobia of gathering in public places, where the virus could easily spread among them.

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