Swine flu cases top 1,000: WHO

May 5, 2009 at 2:29 am | Posted in health | Leave a comment

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The number of swine flu victims topped the 1,000 mark on Monday as the United Nations’ most senior health official warned a second wave of the virus could be far worse. As Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak, prepared for the reopening on Wednesday of restaurants and businesses shuttered by the A(H1N1) virus, the number of affected countries climbed once again. Mexico raised its confirmed swine flu toll to 26 deaths and 776 infected cases on Monday, but said the epidemic appeared to be slowing. But the sense of alarm grew in Britain with the virus found in seven people who had not been to Mexico, and the World Health Organization (WHO) and US President Barack Obama urged vigilance. Acting WHO director-general Keiji Fukuda earlier said there were 1,025 confirmed cases of swine flu, including 26 deaths, spread across 20 countries. One person has also died in the United States. “In this situation, it’s critical that we continue to maintain and strengthen our alert and surveillance,” he said. WHO chief Margaret Chan told UN officials in New York that despite the continued spread, a pandemic could not yet be declared. “We don’t know how long we have till we move to phase six. Six indicates we are in a pandemic. We are not there yet.”

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