WHO Raises Pandemic Alert to Second-Highest Level

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 3:48 PM CDT
A boy walks hand with a man in Mexico City today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The World Health Organization today raised the pandemic alert level for swine flu to its second-highest level and asked all nations to ramp up emergency measures, MSNBC reports. The agency says human-to-human transmission of the disease is spreading and believes the world could be on the brink of a global outbreak. If conditions worsen, the agency could ask vaccine makers to switch to a pandemic vaccine.

"All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans," WHO chief Margaret Chan said in Geneva. "It really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic."