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Subject: WHO 'declares swine flu pandemic'

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/11/09 at 10:12 am

More on BBC News Online

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting, according to reports.

It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile.

The move does not necessarily mean the virus is causing more severe illness or more deaths.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April.

It has since spread to 74 countries.

Official reports say there have been 28,000 cases globally and 141 deaths and figures are rising daily.

Hong Kong said it was closing all its nurseries and primary schools for two weeks following 12 school cases.

It is the first flu pandemic in 40 years - the last in 1968 with Hong Kong flu killed about one million people.

The current pandemic seems to be moderate and causing mild illness in most people.

One factor which may have prompted the move to a level six pandemic was that in the southern hemisphere, the virus seems to be crowding out normal seasonal influenza.

It is thought the move was not prompted by the situation in any one country but the reports of several pockets of community spread.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes, in Geneva, says that while the number of cases has made the declaration inevitable, the problem is that the pandemic phase system is designed for a very different type of virus.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said it had been expecting something more like the deadlier bird flu.

"It was believed that the next pandemic would be something like H5N1 bird flu, where you were seeing really high death rates, and so there were people who believed we might be in a kind of apocalyptic situation and what we're really seeing now with H1N1 is that in most cases the disease is self-limiting," he told the BBC.

The WHO will have to manage the global anxiety the declaration of a pandemic will generate, our correspondent says.

Subject: Re: WHO 'declares swine flu pandemic'

Written By: 80sfan on 06/11/09 at 10:31 am

Man, I knew this would happen.  >:(

Subject: Re: WHO 'declares swine flu pandemic'

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/11/09 at 12:27 pm

Roger Daltrey & Pete Townsand declares a pandemic?  :o :o

Ok, ok. Bad joke. It is really sad. I just hope we don't see as many deaths as there were in Mexico.


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