WHO declares swine flu pandemic
(CNN) — The World Health Organization raised the swine flu alert Thursday to its highest level, saying H1N1 has spread to enough countries to be considered a global pandemic.
Increasing the alert to Level 6 does not mean that the disease is deadlier or more dangerous than before, just that it has spread to more countries, the WHO said.
As of Wednesday evening, the virus had spread to 72 countries, the health agency said. There were 25,288 confirmed cases and 139 deaths. The United States had 13,217 cases and 27 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
Also Thursday, authorities in Hong Kong ordered the closure of all elementary schools, kindergartens and day care centers in the city after 12 students were found to be infected with the virus.
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