By BETSY MCKAY

With about 55 million U.S. children heading back to school in the next few weeks, concerns are growing that the H1N1 swine flu will spread even further than it already has. Identified by scientists four months ago, the virus has already turned up in nearly every corner of the world, from Argentina to Iran. It defied public-health officials’ predictions of a lull in the warm summer months, proliferating in military units and children’s summer camps.

More than two million people are believed to have contracted the new flu in the U.S.; 7,511 had been hospitalized and 477 had died as of Aug. 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. World-wide, 177,457 people have been confirmed with the disease, and 1,462 deaths had been reported as of Aug. 12, according to the World Health Organization.

A vaccine against the new flu is under development, but it is unlikely to be widely available before the flu season gets under way. That could leave many people scrambling to protect themselves and their children.

Here is what you need to know:

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Australia
•  10 death in SA brings national total to 112 (Link)

Brazil
•  Pregnancy the Focus of Concern (Link)

Canada
•  Alberta: Seventh death confirmed (Link)

Egypt
•  Chaos erupts in Cairo airport on swine flu rules (Link)

India
•  152 more test positive for A(H1N1) virus (Link)
•  State Flu count now 39 (Link)
•  Record 220 new swine flu cases in India (Link)
•  Swine flu scares the police too (Link)

Israel
•  Two more A/H1N1 patients die in Israel (Link)

Japan
•  Swine flu claims first fatality in Japan (Link)

Kenya
•  Swine flu-240 villagers feared to be positive (Link)

Malaysia
•  Disabled Child Latest H1N1 Death (Link)
•  National health emergency declared (Link)

Nepal
•  Nepal fears swine flu comeout from India (Link)

South Africa
•  South Africa swine flu cases near 3,500 (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Only a third of nurses willing to have swine flu vaccine: poll (Link)

United States
•  National Survey Finds Six in Ten Americans Believe Serious Outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) (Link)
•  Md. Confirms 6th H1N1-Related Death (Link)
•  TX: Extremely High Number Of Flu Cases At County Courthouse (Link)
•  11th Mass. resident dies of swine flu (Link)
•  Nine possible H1N1 cases reported at OR State U (Link)
•  Back-to-School List Can Help Prepare for Flu (Link)
•  CIDRAP: Projections of Vaccine by October Cut by almost 2/3 (Link)
•  Dukes County Resident Dies in First Fatal Swine Flu Case (Link)
•  OK State U swine flu cases confirmed; more cases expected (Link)
•  GA: Schools, hospital monitoring flu cases (Link)
•  Voice your Opinions: Public Engagement Dialogue on the H1N1 Vaccination Program (Link)
•  First H1N1-Related Death Recorded In NH (Link)

General
•  Influenza 101 (Link)
•  The Great Flu: Online flu game (Link)

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