The World Health Organisation declared a swine flu pandemic - the first global flu epidemic in 41 years.
The decision comes as infections in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere climb to nearly 30,000 cases.
The long-awaited pandemic announcement is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. WHO will now ask drugmakers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine, which it said would available after September. The declaration will also prompt governments to devote more money toward efforts to contain the virus.
Should the Health Department give up trying to contain swine flu in NZ? Here is the latest selection of Your Views: