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The swine flu is starting to look legitimately frightening as the number of suspected cases nearly doubled since yesterday. Most of the cases are in Mexico, with about 2000 infected and 152 dead. This comes just as it was beginning to look like the world is coming out of this deep global recession. Any economic effect?

The virus poses a potentially grave new threat to the U.S. economy, which was showing tentative early signs of a recovery. A widespread outbreak could batter tourism, food and transportation industries, deepening the recession in the U.S. and possibly worldwide.

Officials are enforcing some containment policies, but falling short of cancelling travel, tourism, and trade. If it gets much worse, those things might get restricted forcefully, and any thoughts of recovery will die.

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