On 11th June 2009, Dr Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic.
It was done after holding an emergency meeting.
The virus first appeared in Mexico in April.
It has since spread to 74 countries.
Particulary worrying is the rising number of cases in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile.
There has been nearly 30,000 cases worldwide, with 141 deaths and the numbers are rising every day.
Points to take note:
- keep calm
- the current pandemic seems to be moderate i.e. only causes mild illness in most people. We don’t know if there’ll be a more severe second wave.
- most of the infected are young working age adults
- By declaring a pandemic, it does not imply that we will see increased in deaths or serious cases.
- Symptoms usually similar to seasonal flu – but deaths have been recorded
- The virus is a new version of the H1N1 strain which caused the 1918 flu pandemic
Current treatments do work, but as yet there is no vaccine
Good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, covering nose when sneezing advised.