1. The World Health Organization says there have been nearly 8,000 H1N1 deaths worldwide so far, with the total rising by more than 1,000 in a single week. WHO figures show at least 7,826 people worldwide have died since the H1N1 influenza virus first became apparent in Mexico in April, the BBC reported Saturday.
Sixty-one new deaths were reported in the week ending Nov. 21, down from 84 deaths reported the previous week. As of Nov. 26, 309 H1N1 deaths had been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
That’s something people vacillating over the value of getting vaccinated at this point should keep in mind, says Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza epidemiologist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.
“The way I see it, basically people have two choices in general: Get immunized or get infected,” she says. “Because this virus isn’t going anywhere. It’s ours now.”
If this outbreak follows the pattern of previous pandemics — and there’s no reason to believe it won’t — the pandemic virus and its descendents will be among us for some undefined period of time. It could be years, it could be decades.