Forget Swine Flu— 5 Pandemics to Fear

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2009 10:00 AM CDT
Forget Swine Flu— 5 Pandemics to Fear
Jose Manuel Heirbas, 12, infected by the dengue mosquito, is treated in a hospital in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Tuesday Jan. 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/Victor Rojas)

While the world panics over swine flu, many far more serious outbreaks lie in wait, reports Foreign Policy. Here are some you won’t see on TV—yet:  

  • Cholera: The deadly diarrheal infection is rampant in Africa, with infections shooting up 96% in 2006. The current outbreak in Zimbabwe has killed 4,200 since August.
  • Ebola: Unlikely to become a pandemic, but has an absolutely terrifying mortality rate.

  • Spinal meningitis: This infection of brain and spinal fluid has killed 1,900 people in three countries this year, mostly in Nigeria.
  • AIDS: China’s taken drastic measures to contain swine flu, but it’s done nearly nothing to stop AIDS, which killed 7,000 there in the first 9 months of last year.
  • Dengue fever: The risk has shot up recently, with two-fifths of the world’s population now at risk. A recent outbreak has infected 50,000 Bolivians.
(Read more pandemic stories.)

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