05/28/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Swine Flu Death Toll Exceeds 100 as Pandemic Fears Grow

Governments around the world are hurrying to contain the spread of a new swine flu virus after outbreaks were reported in Mexico, the US and Canada. The UN has warned the virus has the potential to become a pandemic, but said the world was better prepared than ever to deal with the threat. A public health emergency has been declared in the US, where 20 people are confirmed to have caught the virus. 2

A declaration at the weekend by the World Health Organisation of an international public health emergency was followed by a call for worldwide surveillance of the spread of the virus. The illness has rapidly claimed 103 lives, confined hundreds of people to hospital, and brought Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities, to a near standstill. Fears of a potential pandemic have spooked financial markets worldwide, with airline and tourism stocks plunging today, the dollar dropping to its lowest level against the yuan, and the Mexican peso losing about 3% in electronic trading last night. Shares of Top Glove, the world's largest listed rubber latex glovemaker, jumped more than 8% to 5.95 ringgit on the Malaysian stock exchange. 1
  1. Swine Flu Death Toll Exceeds 100 as Pandemic Fears Grow (The Guardian)
  2. World Moves to Contain Flu Spread (BBC)