Last Friday Chile reported 890 confirmed cases of AH1N1 (swine flu), which was by far the largest amount for any country in the region (Argentina is currently in second place with 256).
Last night the total shot up to 1,694, a vitual double in five days. Doctors were quick to try and put people at ease however, pointing out that just 1.7% of cases so far have needed hospitalization. Chile reports 29 people in “a serious condition” at the moment.
Meanwhile, in Argentina a little panic is setting in. Healthcare systems are reporting overwhelming demand and delays of up to 24 hours on orders from patients wanting preventative medicines.
I’m still trying to work out whether I should be worried by all this. The mortality rate is low but we’re moving into pandemic status now and it’s clearly an infectious little bug we have here. I can’t help reflecting on how it’s the southern cone winter right now and Chile/Argentina are getting higher infection rates; what’s it going to be like up North come November to February?