WHO Raises Alert Level from Phase 4 to Phase 5
The swine flu has been officially reported in Mexico, United States, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Mexico and the U. S. are the only countries with any reported deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. They continue to track the pandemic and issue public health advice. At this time, WHO recommends that all countries immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Each country should remain on high alert.
The change from phase 4 to phase 5 level of alertness is mainly to a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace.
On a personal level, it is important to continue to follow the advice already given:
- If you do need to travel, whenever possible avoid crowded enclosed spaces and close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
- 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.
- Ill persons are encouraged to practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, wash hands). >> Learn more about flu and cold here.
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