Number of confirmed influenza A(H1N1) cases rises to nearly 6,500 – UN agency

14 May 2009

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today that nearly 6,500 laboratory-confirmed cases of the influenza A(H1N1) infection have been reported by 33 countries, adding that the death toll has increased to 65.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today that nearly 6,500 laboratory-confirmed cases of the influenza A(H1N1) infection have been reported by 33 countries, adding that the death toll has increased to 65.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, acting WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment, noted that as has been true from the beginning of the outbreak, the majority of cases have been reported from North America.

The United States has reported the most number of cases with 3,352, while Mexico has reported 2,446 cases and Canada 389 cases.

“We continue to be at the pandemic alert Phase 5,” Dr. Fukuda told a news conference in Geneva. “We continue to be looking for evidence of whether we have moved into Phase 6 but so far that has not occurred.”

Phase 5 on WHO’s six-point warning scale means that sustained human-to-human transmission of the new flu strain on a community level is restricted to one of the agency’s geographic regions, in this case North America.

Dr. Fukuda noted that there is an “unprecedented” amount of information on what is unfolding. “There’s more information available about the epidemiology, about the virus than has ever been true I think for a global outbreak like this.”

 

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