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Posted Wed Aug 12 2009: from New Scientist:
Swine flu: How experts are preparing their families
As the swine flu pandemic continues to sweep the world, what do public health officials, epidemiologists and flu researchers think will happen in the coming months? When New Scientist asked 60 of them, it turned out that half are concerned enough about the possibility of a virulent swine flu outbreak to take precautions such as acquiring a supply of Tamiflu for their families. Though most do not think it likely that a nastier strain will emerge, many are worried that if it did, their local hospitals and other parts of the health infrastructure could not cope.... How likely is it that a more virulent strain will emerge? The majority of respondents did not rule it out: two thirds said they thought that higher virulence was "possible". Only a small proportion said it was "likely" (see table). One respondent, Laurence Tiley, a molecular virologist at the University of Cambridge, says there is no reason to expect that the virus will become substantially more virulent. There have been too few pandemics to make any concrete predictions, he explains.
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