Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic

Today the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 flu a pandemic. The alert level for the flu was raised to the the highest level for any pandemic by WHO standards. The increased alert level is not so much because the flu has become more virulent, but rather because it has spread to more countries. As of June 10, the virus had spread to 72 countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 25,288 confirmed cases and 139 deaths. Thus far, the United States has 13,217 confirmed cases and 27 deaths. The alert level has prompted school closures in most parts of the world as governments scramble to bring the pandemic under control within their borders. The preventive measures initially suggested still remain. Frequent and thorough hand washing, sneezing into fabric as opposed to the open air, and other preventative measures still remain the best defense against the flu.

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