By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Published: 4:52PM BST 02 Jun 2009
Last night 61 new cases of H1N1 swine flu were confirmed in Britain bringing the total number of people who have been sick with the virus to 339.
A 45-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman in Scotland have been admitted to intensive care with the disease.
A two-year-old child became the fifth death from H1N1 in New York, it was announced last night.
Officials are not concentrating as much on counting cases in countries such as the United States where the H1N1 virus has become widespread and are instead focusing on mitigating its effects.
Dr Keji Fukuda, acting assistant director-general at the World Health Organisation said the continued spread of the disease, particularly in countries including Britain where cases are spreading in schools and people are contracting it without travelling to Mexico or America, means the WHO is closer to declaring a pandemic.
Currently the alert level stands at five out of six meaning a pandemic is imminent.
Dr Fukuda said: "There are a number of countries that appear to be in transition, moving from travel-related cases to more established community types of spread. "They are in transition and are not quite there yet, which is why we are not in Phase six yet," Fukuda said.
According to the WHO's latest figures, the new influenza strain known as swine flu has been found in 64 countries, and remains most prevalent in North America. WHO labs have confirmed nearly 19,000 infections including 117 people who have died.