India Shrugs at the Swine Flu Outbreak

When swine flu first hit Mexico City, the Mexican government shut the city down for three full days. But when the flu struck Mumbai last week, the Indian government shut down only movie theaters and schools and then, while the flu spread unchecked, opened them again a few days later. By Aug. 17, the countrywide death toll had reached 28, and Pune, two hours' drive southwest of Mumbai, was being considered an H1N1 cluster. There, infections were spreading faster than doctors could track them, and health authorities counted 14 deaths from swine flu. Nearly 1,700 more Indians had tested positive for the flu, which spreads rapidly from human contact, kills a little less than 1% of its victims, and is considered one of the fastest-spreading pandemics in recent history.

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