US Braces for Round 2 of Swine Flu

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2009 2:18 AM CDT
A family wears respiratory masks outside a H1N1 examination center at a government hospital in New Delhi, India, yesterday.    (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)
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(Newser) – 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.