Swine Flu: Global Pandemic | Teen Ink

Swine Flu: Global Pandemic

June 14, 2009
By Alec Charles BRONZE, Holmdel, New Jersey
Alec Charles BRONZE, Holmdel, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO), has declared the recent swine flu outbreak a phase 6 pandemic, which is the WHO’s highest level. Swine flu, otherwise known as the H1N1 virus, has now reached all 50 states. It has been recorded in 74 countries, and has infected about 29,000 people. WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan made the long-awaited declaration after the United Nations agency held an emergency meeting with influenza experts. For weeks, United States officials have been treating this as a pandemic. They have been increasing efforts to create a vaccine for the H1N1 virus.

So far, the virus has killed 144 people, compared to the ordinary flu, which kills up to 500,000 people a year. There is not a reason to panic, because most of the people who have died of this, or are at risk of dying from the virus, are either very young children, or very elderly people. Most of the people infected by the H1N1 virus have mild symptoms, and do not need to be hospitalized. The WHO is describing the pandemic as “moderate”.

Swine flu is also continuing to spread during the summer in the northern hemisphere. In most cases, influenza viruses start to disappear with warm weather, but swine flu is more resilient. The UN is doing its best to avoid panic. "We must guard against rash and discriminatory action, such as travel bans or trade restrictions," says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

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