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VOA Covers Swine Flu Worldwide

Wide reach gives global news organization an edge

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2009 - Voice of America (, with journalists stationed around the world, is covering all aspects of the swine flu outbreak including treatment and prevention of the disease, its impact on tourism and trade and the response of governments.

"With a worldwide story like swine flu, we're uniquely positioned to give people the latest news about the disease because our journalists are reporting from countries on every continent," said Steve Redisch, VOA's Executive Editor.

VOA provides news by television, radio and Internet in 45 languages to an audience of about 134 million. Programs have on swine flu have included interviews and call-in shows such as Housecall, an interactive program in which listeners across Africa posed questions to a doctor about the disease.

VOA has filed stories in English and Spanish from Mexico where 152 deaths have been attributed to swine flu; from the United States where the Obama administration says it expects to see more cases, and from China where the World Health Organization's representative says the country is "well-prepared." China has been the scene of earlier outbreaks of the respiratory illnesses SARS and avian flu. In Nigeria, the government created a monitoring committee.

More than 1,600 cases of swine flu have been reported in Mexico, with an additional 100 worldwide, including 64 in the United States. No fatalities have been reported outside Mexico.

Across Africa, Latin America and Asia, VOA has reported on experts' advice to the public, including the need to wash one's hands frequently.

And in Bangladesh, VOA staff is conducting a workshop for journalists examining avian influenza, a cousin of the swine flu. U.S. and international health experts are discussing the best ways to disseminate health information.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail