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WHO Declares Worldwide Pandemic

13,000 Cases Confirmed in U.S.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a novel influenza H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic on June 11. This is the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. The announcement is scientific confirmation that the new flu virus has emerged and is quickly spreading worldwide. There are now 30,000 cases confirmed around the globe. Of that number just over 13,000 are U.S. cases. Nebraska has had 71 confirmed cases. The danger posed by the virus is considered moderate. Given this information, a global strategy to produce vaccine specific to the H1N1 flu is underway for fall.

The Nebraska Medical Center has been monitoring the situation closely and participating in local and statewide H1N1 discussions. The local response is not expected to change with the new declaration.

“We are still stressing hand hygiene, cough etiquette and encouraging those who are sick to stay home” says Shelly Schwedhelm director of ED, Trauma and Preparedness Services.


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