Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pandemic Imminent!

We're so excited!

WHO says swine flu alert closer to pandemic

AP, By Frank Jordans, June 2

GENEVA -- The World Health Organization said Tuesday it is "getting closer" to declaring a global outbreak of the swine flu virus as the infection appears to be taking hold outside of North America.

WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda said the disease has reached 64 countries and infected 18,965 people, causing 117 deaths.

The overwhelming majority of cases and deaths have been reported in Mexico and the United States, but increasingly the virus is spreading from person to person in countries as far apart as Britain, Spain, Japan, Chile and Australia.

"We still are waiting for evidence of really widespread community activity in these countries, and so it's fair to say that they are in transition and are not quite there yet, which is why we are not in phase 6 yet," Fukuda said.

Phase 6 is the highest alert on WHO's scale, signaling a pandemic _ a global epidemic. In terms of the geographic spread of swine flu, the world is "at phase 5 but getting closer to phase 6," Fukuda said.


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