Geneva: Swine flu is now formally a pandemic, a declaration by UN health officials that will speed vaccine production and spur government spending to combat the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. Thursday's announcement by the World Health Organization doesn't mean the virus is any more lethal - only that its spread is considered unstoppable.
Since it was first detected in late April in Mexico and the United States, swine flu has reached 74 countries, infecting nearly 29,000 people. Most who catch the bug have only mild symptoms and don't need medical treatment.
Image: An Egyptian woman wears a surgical mask as another covers her nose in Cairo's underground, Egypt, Thursday, June 11, 2009 after a student dorm at the American University in Cairo was placed under quarantine through June 15 after seven Americans, six students and one faculty member, were diagnosed with swine flu.
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