H1N1: Worse Than Health Experts Thought

The swine flu virus swept across the globe in 2009, claiming thousands of lives in 12 countries. {}However,{}the H1N1 pandemic may have been much more widespread than first reported. {}According to a new study released Monday by The Lancet, researchers now estimate more than 284,000 people died the first year the virus spread. {}That's 15 times higher than the initial World Health Organization tally for the first 16 months.{}{}

Researchers say the numbers were skewed in Africa and Southeast Asia. {}Cases in those regions made up only 12-percent of the original WHO statistics. {}However,{}they comprised 51-percent of the revised estimates. {}Researchers blame the high mortality rate in Africa on a lack of access to health care and vaccines. {}