The World Health Organization told its member nations it was declaring a swine flu pandemic on June 11--the first global flu epidemic in 41 years--as infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America, and elsewhere.

In a statement sent to member countries, WHO said it decided to raise the pandemic warning level from phase 5 to 6--its highest alert--after holding an emergency meeting on swine flu with its experts.

The long-awaited pandemic decision is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. It will trigger drugmakers to speed up production of a swine...

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