Harry Potter Star’s fear of Swine flu death

July 8th, 2009 - 2:34 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Rupert Grint British actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, said he thought he might die when he was told he had contracted swine flu – pandemic (H1N1).

“It was quite scary when I first found out I had swine flu. “I thought: ‘Am I going to die?’ But it was just like any other flu really. I had a sore throat and I went to bed for a few days.”

Grint was speaking ahead of the world premiere in London today of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter films.

The 20-year-old’s publicist confirmed on Saturday that he had suffered from the virus, taking several days off filming the next movie in the blockbuster series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports there has been 94,512 cases of pandemic (H1N1), originally termed swine flue, with 429 deaths. There were 4,591 new cases reported in the three days to July 6, with 47 confirmed deaths in the same period.

By comparison the WHO says ‘seasonal influenza in the USA is currently estimated to be 25–50 million cases per year, leading to 150,000 hospitalizations and 30,000–40,000 deaths.

‘If these figures are extrapolated to the rest of the world, the average global burden of inter-pandemic influenza may be on the order of ~1 billion cases of flu, ~3–5 million cases of severe illness and 300,000–500,000 deaths annually.’

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