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Sharp rise in cases globally and in UK

Fergus Walsh | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 22 June 2009

A sharp increase in the global number of cases and deaths can been seen in the latest figures from the World Health Organisation. The total now stands at 52,160 laboratory-confirmed cases including 231 deaths in around 100 countries and territories.

Beware any attempt to derive a "death rate" from such figures (which, by my reckoning, would come out as four deaths in every 1,000 people infected). As has been repeatedly pointed out, the vast majority of cases go unrecorded, so the figure of 52,160 is a huge underestimate of the actual numbers. Work is clearly needed to get a more accurate figure for the mortality and morbidity (ill-health) associated with the virus.

England has also seen a series of big daily increases in lab-confirmed cases in recent days. There were 204 new cases confirmed by lab tests today; the total number in England has doubled in just five days, with the West Midlands accounting for half of all infections. The vast majority of those infected have experienced mild flu-like symptoms and fully recovered. There have been no deaths in England and one in Scotland.

The graphs below will show you the figures for the six countries worldwide with the biggest case-loads, in descending order: United States, Mexico, Canada, Chile, UK, Australia.

USA cases

Number of cases in USA

Mexico cases

Number of cases in Mexico

Canada cases

Number of cases in Canada

Chile cases

Number of cases in Chile

UK cases

Number of cases in UK

Australia cases

Number of cases in Australia


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