Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHO Raises Pandemic Alert to Phase 5

Swine flu is becoming a very serious public health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) is raising the pandemic alert to phase 5 (and phase 6 is the highest level).

"Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short."

Let's hope we don't reach phase 6:

"Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way."

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