A middle-aged Alameda County man who had tested positive for the H1N1 virus died Wednesday, marking the second swine flu-related death in that county and the third in the Bay Area.

Alameda County Public Health Department spokeswoman Sherri Willis said the man who died Wednesday suffered from chronic health problems. On Tuesday, county health officials announced the death of another middle-aged man who had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, and who also suffered from chronic health problems.

Last week, health officials in Contra Costa County announced that a 9-year-old girl in that county with H1N1 died May 29. The World Health Organization today declared the H1N1 outbreak a pandemic.

"Countries should prepare to see cases, or the further spread of cases, in the near future. Countries where outbreaks appear to have peaked should prepare for a second wave of infection,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, 74 countries have reported 27,737 cases of H1N1 infection and 141 deaths, according to WHO statistics.

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