WHO reviews swine flu outbreak

The World Health Organisation called a scientific review meeting for Wednesday to determine just what is known about how the current swine-flu outbreak spreads, how the virus affects human health and how it can be treated, the Associated Press reported. As the first death outside Mexico was reported in the United States, the WHO also convened a meeting to consider its alert level.


US health officials reported that a child in Texas had died from swine flu. Meanwhile, Germany and Austria confirmed cases of the virus, becoming the third and fourth European countries affected. Germany confirmed three cases and Austria one, while the number of confirmed cases rose to four in Spain and five in Britain.

In Mexico, believed to be the epicenter of the virus, the flu is suspected of killing more than 150 people. The WHO has confirmed at least 105 swine flu cases in seven countries, more than half of them in the United States. No cases have been confirmed in Asia, where governments were taking strict precautions with travelers at airports.

The WHO’s current pandemic alert level now stands at phase four, two levels below the threshold for a full pandemic outbreak.

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