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H1N1 Virus On Minds Of Students, Officials At UK Move-In Day

Friday was move-in day for fall classes at UK, and school officials are urging students to be aware of ways to prevent an outbreak of flu or the H1N1 virus.UK officials are already anticipating problems with the illnesses this fall and into the winter, and are preparing steps to help prevent the spread of particularly the H1N1 virus. Health officials say they expect the virus to spread quickly in the coming months.The global spread of H1N1, or swine flu, will endanger more lives as it speeds up in the coming months and governments must boost preparations for a swift response to a coming "explosion" of cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.Many countries could see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission is reached, once cold weather returns to the northern hemisphere, said WHO's Western Pacific director, Shin Young-soo."At a certain point, there will seem to be an explosion in case numbers," Shin told a symposium of health officials and experts in Beijing. "It is certain there will be more cases and more deaths."The WHO says the H1N1 virus has killed almost 1,800 people worldwide, and has declared a pandemic.International attention has focused on how the pandemic is progressing in southern hemisphere countries such as Australia where winter - and the flu season - has started.But it is in developing countries that the accelerated spread of swine flu poses the greatest threat as it places underequipped and underfunded health systems under severe strain, Shin said.WHO earlier estimated that as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years - nearly one-third of the world's population.Others said Shin's cautionary comments were needed but that they were optimistic the spread would not be that serious.Ann Moen, an influenza expert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that if current trends continue it is possible that the swine flu pandemic will not be worse than a severe flu season."I think the world was preparing for an H5N1 (bird flu) pandemic and we didn't get that. So maybe this is our supreme tabletop exercise, a global sort of practice for something bigger," Moen told The Associated Press.Health officials and drug makers are considering how to speed up production of a vaccine before the northern hemisphere enters its flu season in coming months. Estimates for when a vaccine will be available range from September to December.
/ Source: WLEX-TV

Friday was move-in day for fall classes at UK, and school officials are urging students to be aware of ways to prevent an outbreak of flu or the H1N1 virus.

UK officials are already anticipating problems with the illnesses this fall and into the winter, and are preparing steps to help prevent the spread of particularly the H1N1 virus. Health officials say they expect the virus to spread quickly in the coming months.

The global spread of H1N1, or swine flu, will endanger more lives as it speeds up in the coming months and governments must boost preparations for a swift response to a coming "explosion" of cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Many countries could see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission is reached, once cold weather returns to the northern hemisphere, said WHO's Western Pacific director, Shin Young-soo.

"At a certain point, there will seem to be an explosion in case numbers," Shin told a symposium of health officials and experts in Beijing. "It is certain there will be more cases and more deaths."

The WHO says the H1N1 virus has killed almost 1,800 people worldwide, and has declared a pandemic.

International attention has focused on how the pandemic is progressing in southern hemisphere countries such as Australia where winter - and the flu season - has started.

But it is in developing countries that the accelerated spread of swine flu poses the greatest threat as it places underequipped and underfunded health systems under severe strain, Shin said.

WHO earlier estimated that as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years - nearly one-third of the world's population.

Others said Shin's cautionary comments were needed but that they were optimistic the spread would not be that serious.

Ann Moen, an influenza expert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that if current trends continue it is possible that the swine flu pandemic will not be worse than a severe flu season.

"I think the world was preparing for an H5N1 (bird flu) pandemic and we didn't get that. So maybe this is our supreme tabletop exercise, a global sort of practice for something bigger," Moen told The Associated Press.

Health officials and drug makers are considering how to speed up production of a vaccine before the northern hemisphere enters its flu season in coming months. Estimates for when a vaccine will be available range from September to December.

Associated Press Wire Services Contributed To This Story.