The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the swine flu (H1N1) virus as a pandemic and raised the pandemic alert level from phase 5 to 6, the highest level possible. While the virus is of moderate severity, WHO made the distinction because it is concerned about its atypical spread patterns.

H1N1 is primarily affecting younger people, those under the age of 25. Most severe and fatal cases have been in adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Typically, epidemics of seasonal influenza primarily affect the elderly.

Swine flu is also continuing to spread during the warm, summer months — a time when flu viruses usually lay dormant.

More than a million swine flu cases have been reported in the United States alone.

Jan/san distributors should continue to educate their customers to disinfect commonly touched surfaces and have customers encourage building occupants to frequently wash their hands to help curb the spread of H1N1.