The Center for disease Control is warning Americans about the staggering impact Swine flu could make if no vaccine is ready by the next flu season. Their most recent report said the number of swine flu infections in the U.S. could rise 40% over the next two years.
While that number means twice as many people who come down with the normal flu would be stricken with swine flu, infections could drop if new vaccines, currently being tested, are released.
The U.S. could have as many as 160 million doses of the swine flu vaccine available sometime in October and its success or failure could affect the lives of thousands.
The American Medical Association estimates about 36,000 people die from a normal flu season. Should swine flu vaccines fail, the number of deaths over the next two years could range from 90,000 to several hundred thousand, the CDC has calculated.
"Hopefully, mitigation efforts will have a big impact on future cases," said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.
The World Health Organization, who believe the swine flu is in the early stages of a new pandemic, paints a much more dire picture. They estimate as many as 2 billion people, or roughly one third of the world's population, could be stricken with the ailment over the same two year period.
So far, swine flu has infected more than 1 million Americans, many of whom suffered from mild cases and never reported it. Of the 44,000 confirmed cases, 302 have died.
In light of the Swine Flu's gripping effect, the CDC is advising all children between six and 18 months to get the seasonal flu vaccine, reports Reuters.