Debate over the H1N1 flu is likely to dominate discussion at the annual assembly of the World Health Organisation that opens today.
The four-day meeting in Geneva comes as more than 100 people are confirmed to have been infected with the new virus in Japan.
Most of Japan’s new infections are among high school students in the western areas of Hyogo and Osaka who had not travelled abroad.
The WHO assembly will debate how nations can be better prepared for outbreaks and will assess the availability of vaccines.
New York has also seen its first death from the virus, with a school principal becoming the latest victim.
Several schools have been closed in the Queens area after students and staff were infected.
The virus has so far been detected in 39 countries.