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WHO declares H1N1 flu pandemic

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 12, 2009




June 11 – The world is officially in the grip of the first global flu pandemic for 40 years, health officials said today.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that H1N1 swine flu has reached the status after more than 27,000 cases were confirmed across several continents.

A statement from the UN health agency is expected shortly.

Alert level raised to the maximum 6

The decision to raise its global alert level from five to six – officially signalling a pandemic – came after a day-long emergency meeting of the WHO to discuss the implications of widespread outbreaks of illness in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

A disease is classed as a pandemic when transmission between humans becomes widespread in at least two regions of the world.

The last global flu pandemic came in 1968 over the so-called “Hong Kong” flu, which killed about 1 million people worldwide.

The latest H1N1 viral strain — a combination of previously circulating animal and human strains — emerged in Mexico in April and since then 27,737 cases have been confirmed in 74 countries worldwide since March.

Community spread – in which infections cannot be traced to known cases – has already been confirmed in the North and South America. But WHO officials are reported to have been alarmed by a sudden spike of cases in Australia, and also by rising numbers in Europe. –Times Online

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