Lingering effects – Metro US

Lingering effects

The swine flu virus will likely become a full-blown pandemic — and could strike with renewed vigour when flu season returns this fall, Ontario public health officials are warning.

But just how sick people will get remains to be seen, Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infectious diseases with the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, said yesterday, adding there is lots of “crystal-ball gazing” happening.

“It’s definitely not a bunch of hype, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that humanity is in big trouble,” he said. “I still don’t think we’ve seen enough of it to really comment on how mild it is. We’ve only seen 1,000 cases outside of Mexico.”

Ontario is prepared to roll out its pandemic plan, modelled on a “moderately severe” pandemic affecting up to 4.5 million people in the province, Gardam said. The model’s assumptions are based on the 1957 flu pandemic.