Obama declares H1N1 emergency

Move allows healthcare providers to take greater measures against "swine flu".

    Dr Jonathan Fielding, an LA health director,
    gets his H1N1 vaccination [AFP]

    The country's disease control and prevention centre has said that H1N1 flu is now widespread in 46 of the US's 50 states.

    'Proactive measure'

    Seasonal flu normally peaks between late November and early March, but H1N1 appears to be peaking early and with more waves of infection expected.

    An administration official said: "It's important to note that this is a proactive measure - not a response to a new development.

    "H1N1 is moving rapidly, as expected. By the time regions or healthcare systems recognise they are becoming overburdened, they need to implement disaster plans quickly."

    More than 20,000 Americans have been hospitalised with H1N1.

    Separately, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported more than 414,000 laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1 worldwide, with nearly 5,000 deaths.

    It also notes that those figures are likely to be "significantly lower than the actual number of cases that have occurred".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.