Friday, June 12, 2009

H1N1: WHO Declares First Pandemic Since 1968

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the new H1N1 virus has caused the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. The declaration will trigger heightened health measures in the WHO's 193 member states as authorities brace for the worldwide spread of the virus that has so far caused mainly mild illness. "Phase 6 doesn't mean anything concerning severity, it is concerning geographic spread... Pandemic means global, but it doesn't have any connotation of severity or mildness," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said. One health source said the experts are also expected to recommend finishing production currently underway of seasonal flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere next winter. There have been 27,737 infections reported in 74 countries as of June 11th, including 141 deaths, according to the WHO's latest tally of laboratory confirmed cases; but the real number of people with the disease is likely to run into at least hundreds of thousands, as mild cases may not have been detected.
Source: Reuters

No comments: