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WHO says swine flu moving closer to pandemic

The World Health Organization warned Wednesday that the swine flu outbreak is moving closer to becoming a pandemic, as the United States reported the first swine flu death outside of Mexico, and Germany and Austria became latest European nations hit by the disease.

In Geneva, WHO flu chief Dr. Keiji Fukuda told reporters that there was no evidence the virus was slowing down, moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission.

But he said the health body not yet ready to move the pandemic alert level up from its current level of 4, which means the virus is being passed among people. Phase 6 — the highest in the scale — is for a full-scale pandemic.
 
 

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