In a warning to a conference of Southeast Asian health ministers, World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan said that "decades of failure to invest adequately in basic health systems and infrastructure," will be exposed by the tragic evidence to be left in the wake of the first flu pandemic in forty years.
In the same Agence-France Press report, the UN agency is cited in saying that "Some tropical countries were already reporting "moderate strains" on their healthcare systems amid surges in infections."
And last month, the 'swine flu' (AH1N1 or H1N1) strain, was already the world's most prevalent strain picked up in surveys by WHO.
A rapid rate of the spread of infection is often a hallmark of pandemics. Chan provided a rough projection for what we may see at peak transmission, possibly by the year's end,
"The number of cases could double every three or four days."