The World Health Organization has told its member nations it is declaring an H1N1 flu pandemic -- the first in 41 years.
The move came Thursday as infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.
In a statement sent to member countries, WHO says it decided to raise the pandemic alert level from phase 5 to 6, meaning that a global outbreak of H1N1 has begun. The decision was made after the U.N. health agency held an emergency meeting on the flu with its experts. The last flu pandemic was in 1968.