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WHO raises level of alert on flu pandemic

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1777 (Published 28 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1777
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    Fears that swine influenza, which seems to have caused the deaths of around 150 people in Mexico, could become a full pandemic have prompted action across the globe.

    As the BMJ went to press on Tuesday Mexico’s health minister, José Ángel Córdova, was putting the number of deaths from the outbreak of A/H1N1 swine flu in his country at about 150.

    The World Health Organization said that only 26 cases in that country had been confirmed and that seven people had died. The United States had reported 40 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine flu there, with no deaths, while Canada had reported six cases of infection, Spain two, Israel one, and New Zealand three—none of which had resulted in death.

    In the United Kingdom the Scottish Government said it had two confirmed cases of swine flu in people admitted to Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire after they returned from a holiday in Mexico.

    The Department of Health in …

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