The Wordstress Blog

The Wordstress ponders the birds and the bees.

World Health Organization on Swine Flu April 29, 2009

Filed under: Health,Swine Flu — eastlakecounty @ 5:18 pm
Tags: , , , ,

World Health Organization raises pandemic alert to phase 5 – and STILL there’s no need for panic.

Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5

Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.

29 April 2009 — The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009, nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).

Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.

WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

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3 Responses to “World Health Organization on Swine Flu”

  1. firingsquid Says:

    As you show, the statistics vary wildly. I read that in Mexico there were as many as 2,500 cases and 150 deaths, but the whole thing is very unclear and getting an idea of the lethality of the virus is not very easy.

    There is mass hysteria without decent facts. It’s a media generated fear frenzy. I suspect this virus is not as dangerous as people think.

    • eastlakecounty Says:

      Part of the problem may be that Mexico’s reporting is not as thorough…I don’t know. I’m not laughing about swine flu, but I’m not re-ordering my entire life, either. That said, I wouldn’t jump on a plane to Mexico any time in the immediate future…but that doesn’t mean I want the borders closed!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. firingsquid Says:

    I’m with you on that one. I probably wouldn’t be going and sharing a bath with someone with swine flu, for example, but you know, with Spanish flu in 1918, the mortality rate was much lower in first world countries than it was, for example, on remote islands without health care or in poverty stricken places such as India at that time. Today, people are probably healthier (better nourished, not suffering from vitamin deficiencies) than those who lived a century before, so even if this virus was as bad as Spanish flu (which it isn’t), we could expect a much lower death rate than is feared. Ordinary flu has a mortality rate of 0.1%. This flu might be double that, or even ten times that, but that’s still not particularly high, still less than measles, for example.

    Just giving a bit of perspective, that’s all 🙂


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