WHO declares first 21st century flu pandemic
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization declared the first flu pandemic of the 21st century on Thursday, Sweden’s health ministry said.
The health ministry said the United Nations agency was raising its pandemic flu alert to the top phase 6 on a six-point scale, indicating the first influenza pandemic since 1968 is under way.
“Today… the Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health Maria Larsson has called a press conference following a decision by the WHO to raise the pandemic level to six for the influenza A H1N1 virus,” the ministry said in a statement.
Background on recent pandemic scares (avian flu, SARS).