Swine flu's shocking real toll: 265,000 more than anyone realised
The swine flu pandemic of 2009 was responsible for the deaths of thousands more people than originally thought, according to a new report published yesterday.
A study conducted for The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal identified 284,500 victims around the world, more than 15 times the number of deaths confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) three years ago.
The original toll, a simple tabulation of laboratory-confirmed cases that was thought to be a gross underestimation, counted around 18,500 deaths. By extrapolating figures for poorer countries, scientists claim that the global outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus in 2009 could in fact be responsible for as many as 579,000 deaths.