WHO declares a full-blown pandemic - we are now at level 6

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DrKrbyLuv's picture
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Joined: Aug 10 2008
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WHO declares a full-blown pandemic - we are now at level 6

Swine Flu Garners Pandemic Status - Pandemic Is First Involving Influenza in More Than 40 Years

The World Health Organization this morning formally declared that swine flu had reached the level of a full-blown pandemic, moving the viral outbreaks to phase 6 on the pandemic alert scale.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan met with flu experts at 6 a.m. ET today in Geneva to discuss the spread of the novel virus, and since Wednesday the escalation to the highest level of pandemic alert had been widely anticipated. 

A joint statement issued today by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted that the WHO decision "was expected" and that it "doesn't change what we have been doing here in the United States to prepare for and respond to this public health challenge."

Health experts concurred. "From a macro view, the main actions defined for WHO phase 5 are the same as those for phase 6," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "However, individual countries and communities may have conditioned key tactical and operational steps of their response to the WHO phases, so there could be significant local, regional, or national impact. Technically, we have been in phase 6 for some time."

"When you hear this announcement, and your children are with you, main thing is to reassure kids not really all that much is going to change unless things get more severe," Dr. Irwin Redlener of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, told "Good Morning America." 

"We have readily weathered pandemics in 1968 and 1957 and, yes, there was some increase in the numbers of deaths due primarily to pneumonia, but commerce proceeded normally," said Dr. D.A.Henderson, professor of medicine and public health at the University of Pittsburgh. "In the course of warnings and preparation, the word 'pandemic' now conjures up a 1918-like scenario and, regrettably, many of our public health gurus have themselves become fixated on this scenario."

Still, the threat may not be completely over. Some infectious disease experts said the worst could come later in the year if the virus resurges or becomes more deadly.

"The big bang -- if it comes -- will be in the fall," said Dr. Peter Katona, associate professor of clinical medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Public health officials have to be very careful not to look foolish by having the appropriate level of concern."


WHO global influenza preparedness plan (Protocols for infected, Phase 6, published 2005) .pdf

For more information, be sure to stop by investorzzo's post "Readying Americans for Dangerous, Mandatory Vaccinations


Cloudfire's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 29 2008
Posts: 1813
Level 6


Here we go . . . . . Now, where did I put that passport application?


Juvysen's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 121
Re: WHO declares a full-blown pandemic - we are now at ...

Yeah... time to get a passport...

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