The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called an emergency meeting in a sign that it may declare the H1N1 flu outbreak a pandemic – the first in more than 40 years.
The UN health agency announced that an emergency meeting with its flu experts would be held in Geneva on Thursday, following a teleconference on Wednesday in which Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, spoke to officials in eight countries with large outbreaks of the flu.
Chan had said earlier that she believed a pandemic was under way, but was seeking clear proof that the flu virus was spreading rapidly from person to person outside the Americas before declaring a global epidemic.
"Once I get indisputable evidence I will make the announcement," she had told reporters on Tuesday.
If confirmed, it would be the first flu pandemic in 41 years, since the Hong Kong flu of 1968.
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