World Health Organization Official: Swine Flu Close to Becoming Global Pandemic

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Just because Swine Flu is no longer a top story on the news doesn't mean we're out of the woods. The spread of the H1N1 virus (aka Swine Flu) to Australia, the U.K., Japan and Spain means that it is close to becoming a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Acting Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda tells Reuters that Chile has also seen more infections than seasonal influenza at the start of Chile's flu season, raising concern about how it would spread in the southern hemisphere.

Although H1N1 has been found predominantly in Mexico and the United States, according to the United Nations’ latest statistics, this strain has affected about 19,000 people worldwide in 64 different countries. "Globally we believe that we are at Phase 5 but we are getting closer to Phase 6," Fukuda said. "The future impact of this infection has yet to unfold." He continued, "It is probably fair to call the situation something like moderate
right now. We do have some hesitation to call the situation mild."

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