San Diego County health officials confirmed three new cases of swine flu Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 32.
The new cases involve an 8-year old boy, a 25-year old woman and an 18-year old man, according to officials with the county's Health and Human Services Agency.
The World Health Organization said Thursday that up to 2 billion people could be infected by swine flu if the current outbreak turns into a pandemic lasting two years. Independent experts agree it's possible but point out that many of the infected wouldn't show any symptoms.
Chris Smith, a flu virologist at Cambridge University in England, says the 2 billion estimate doesn't sound too outlandish to him because he says it's "a very infectious virus."
John Oxford, professor of virology at St. Bart's and Royal London Hospital, agrees. But he says it shouldn't scare people because "it's not as though 2 billion people are going to die."
In Mexico, the hardest hit country so far, the government's top health official insists the epidemic is on the decline. High schools and universities there opened today for the first time in two weeks.
A total of 44 people have died in Mexico, while at least 1,160 people have been sickened.
For questions regarding swine flu or its symptoms, contact the county's hotline at 211.