Swine Flu ‘Pandemic Imminent’

Time to panic? The World Health Organization has raised its threat level for a swine flu pandemic to Phase 5—meaning the possibility of a full-blown outbreak is “imminent,” ABC News reports. So far the virus has spread to 11 states, infecting 94 people; five more states (Arizona, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine) each now have at least one confirmed case. The WHO’s move comes on the same day of reports a 22-month-old boy died in Texas, the first know U.S. fatality—though, it should be noted, he contracted the virus in Mexico and was transported to Houston for treatment. Germany and Austria are the latest countries to confirm infections, and the Egyptian government has begun slaughtering all 300,000 pigs in the country.