Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

Americas

WHO warns of flu outbreak's 'pandemic potential'

Video by Claire PRYDE , FRANCE 2

Latest update : 2009-04-25

The head of the World Health Organisation says a new flu strain that has killed up to 68 people in Mexico and infected eight in the United States has the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic, though it is too early to determine whether it will.

Reuters - Outbreaks of swine flu in Mexico and the United States have the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic but it is too early to say whether they will, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.
 

"It has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.
 
"However, we cannot say on the basis of currently available laboratory, epidemiological, and clinical evidence whether or not it will indeed cause a pandemic."
 
The new flu strain -- a mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses which has killed up to 68 people among 1,004 suspected cases in Mexico and infected eight in the United States -- is still poorly understood and the situation is evolving quickly, Chan said on a teleconference.
 
An emergency committee of experts, convening shortly, will advise her about issues including possibly changing the WHO's pandemic alert level, currently 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
 
It was "too premature at this stage" for the WHO to announce any travel advisories, as better analysis of the cases and other clinical data was required, she said.
 
"We do not yet have a complete picture of the epidemiology or the risk, including possible spread beyond the currently affected areas," Chan said. "Nonetheless, in the assessment of WHO, this is a serious situation."
 
It was also too soon for the U.N. agency to advise drugmakers to switch to producing a new vaccine -- to be derived from the new virus -- from their traditional production of seasonal influenza vaccines, she said.

Date created : 2009-04-25

COMMENT(S)