The US and other northern nations are steeling for a possible explosion in swine flu cases as the weather cools, the Washington Post reports. Experts believe the second round of H1N1 cases could cause a major disruption and strain the health care system. "The virus is still around and ready to explode," warned a flu expert. "We're potentially looking at a very big mess."
The virus has shown no signs of mutating into a deadlier form, but officials are stepping up plans to distribute vaccines and antiviral drugs to minimize damage from what they expect will be an earlier and more severe flu season. "It's fair to say there will be tens of millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths," said one professor who advises the government.