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Swine flu cases reported from 33 countries: WHO

The United Nations WHO said that 33 countries have reported nearly 6,500 laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu the influenza A (H1N1) infection, adding that the death toll has increased to 65.

world Updated: May 15, 2009 08:24 IST

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said that 33 countries have reported nearly 6,500 laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu the influenza A (H1N1) infection, adding that the death toll has increased to 65.

Dr Keiji Fukuda, acting WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment, noted that as has been true from the beginning of the outbreak, the majority of cases have been reported from North America.

The United States has reported the most number of cases with 3,352, while Mexico has reported 2,446 cases and Canada 389 cases.

"We continue to be at the pandemic alert Phase 5," Dr Fukuda told a news conference. "We continue to be looking for evidence of whether we have moved into Phase 6 but so far that has not occurred."

Phase 5 on WHO's six-point warning scale means that sustained human-to-human transmission of the new flu strain on a community level is restricted to one of the agency's geographic regions, in this case North America.

Dr Fukuda noted that there is an "unprecedented" amount of information on what is unfolding. "There's more information available about the epidemiology, about the virus than has ever been true I think for a global outbreak like this."