The H1N1 flu virus has claimed 2,827 lives so far but has shown no signs of mutation to a more deadly form, the World Health Organization says. About 250,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu have been registered, and WHO expects 2 billion people eventually might be infected.
New mothers are not given the help they need to successfully breastfeed their newborns, leading many to give up trying, the World Health Organization says. Breastfeeding helps strengthen infants' immune systems, and broader use could save 1.3 million babies a year.
Incidences of swine flu are broadening globally, with nearly 1,000 cases reported in 20 countries, the World Health Organization reported. "We hope the virus fizzles out because if it doesn't, we are heading for a big outbreak," WHO chief Margaret Chan said. While the flu has yet to demonstrate a sustained human-to-human transmission pattern, some countries have instituted severe containment measures.
Millions of people every year contract cholera, but due to stigma and misunderstanding, less than a tenth of cases are reported, the World Health Organization said Monday. Governments need to do more to prevent cholera outbreaks through improved water and sewage systems and better education about hygiene practices.
Following the bird flu deaths of five Chinese, the World Health Organization advised caution during China's Lunar New Year holiday, but found no reason for undue alarm. "What we are seeing is so far within our expectations and broadly matches previous years," said a WHO spokesman. "There is no evidence of an epidemic.