The United Nation’s World Health Organization has declared that influenza A (H1N1) is now officially rated “phase 6” on a six-point scale, making it the first flu pandemic of the 21st century. As of yesterday, 74 countries have officially reported 27,737 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 141 deaths.

A news conference by WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan expected sometime today.

The move to pandemic standing will mean increased health measures in the WHO's 193 member states. It is unclear how this rating, or the spread of the disease, will impact health insurers, but tier 1 insurers, such as Aetna, Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, have already put their own plans in place to help educate members on flu prevention.

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