In response to an increasing number of reported cases of swine flu and subsequent deaths, the World Health Organization raised its influenza pandemic threat level, a system that was revised after the SARS outbreak in 2003. Mexican authorities and scientists believe they have singled out patient zero in the pandemic: A 4-year-old boy who lived near a pig farm in Veracruz is believed to have been the first individual to contract the never-before-seen virus. With its raised threat level, the WHO nevertheless recommended borders not be closed and that there be no travel bans imposed. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization will investigate whether there is any link between pigs and humans in the transmission of swine flu.

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