For the first time in 41 years, a global flu epidemic has been declared by the World Health Organization.
According to WHO, increasing the alert to Phase 6 signifies that swine flu has spread to more countries but does not necessarily mean the virus is causing more severe illness. As of June 10, WHO states that 74 countries have officially reported 27,737 cases of swine flu (H1N1), including 141 deaths.
Both the WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held press briefings on Thursday. The tone was calm and matter-of-fact about this situation. The American Red Cross is well prepared for this current H1N1 level of severity and we have plans in place to protect the people we serve.
(Photo courtesy of the New York Times)