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Russia's chief doctor rules out chance of swine flu pandemic

RIA Novosti

16:2202/06/2009 MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's chief doctor Gennady Onishchenko said on Tuesday that swine flu is not aggressive enough to cause a worldwide pandemic.

He said that the death rate of people confirmed to have the À/H1N1 virus is 1.6% in Mexico and only 0.1% in the United States.

"So far it is unclear if we need to use vaccines against the flu because the virus that is now circulating throughout Europe and North America does not have a pandemic nature," Onishchenko said at a press conference in Moscow.

He said that if necessary, a vaccine could be produced in a short time and some 50 million people would be vaccinated against the virus. He added, however, that preparing a vaccine now would be considered "practice," since the world would soon need a new vaccine against a new virus.

"What's 16,000 sick people? During any flu season, some 10,000 a day become ill in Moscow alone," he said.

 



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