GENEVA -- Here is a timeline of the swine flu crisis:
April 24, 2009
- World Health Organization (WHO) announces that around 800 suspected cases of so-called swine flu have been recorded in Mexico, including 60 suspected deaths, as well as seven cases in the United States. Health authorities around the world go on alert.
Mexican officials later say the first recorded fatality was a 39-year-old woman who died on April 13 in Oaxaca, southeastern Mexico.
- WHO warns that the virus, identified as a member of the H1N1 family, has "pandemic potential." Mexico orders isolation of sick people and closes many public establishments.
- First three cases are confirmed in Europe.
- WHO raises its alert level from three to four on a scale of six, signaling a "significant increase in risk of a pandemic."
- First cases in central America and the Middle East.
- A 23-month-old Mexican child is the first confirmed death in the United States.
- WHO raises alert level to five, calling on countries to prepare for an "imminent" pandemic.
- The first cases involving people who had not visited Mexico are confirmed in the United States, Spain and Germany.
- Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens says the impact of the flu crisis could cut GDP by 0.3 and 0.5 percent.
- WHO adopts the term "influenza A(H1N1)" after veterinary experts point out that disease is not occurring among pigs.
Confirmed cases pass the 10,000 mark, with 80 confirmed deaths.
WHO says the pharmaceutical industry could produce a vaccine by the end of June.
A swine flu pandemic is described as "very close" by a WHO official.
WHO declares a swine flu pandemic, raising its alert to the maximum level six. A total of 74 countries are now affected by the virus, with 27,737 cases including 141 deaths.