Phase 6 Imminent!

The WHO is reportedly gearing up for a declaration of pandemic phase 6.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  CNN is reporting that the WHO has scheduled an emergency meeting for today.  If the WHO declares a pandemic Thursday, it will be the first flu pandemic in 41 years.

“What this would mean is that spread of the virus has continued and that activity has become established in at least two regions of the world…It does not mean that the severity of the situation has increased and that people are getting seriously sick at higher numbers or higher rates than they are right now. This is a very important point for countries to understand.”

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15,510 Cases of Influenza A(H1N1) Infection, Including 99 Deaths World-Wide

Swine flu cases continue to rise and while many people may not see what the difference is between this and the regular flu, the LA Times points out the flu pandemics have a history of foreshocks.

Scientists think the spring swine flu epidemic may be a “herald wave” of what’s to come. In 1918, a milder wave of flu cases occurred in late winter and early spring, before the deadly pandemic surge in the fall of that year. In 1957, Asian flu was causing unremarkable illness in China, before landing on American soil for the summer outbreaks and a severe winter season.

Another common feature of past flu pandemics is the age groups of the victims. The CDC says that seasonal flu contributes to some 36,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and 90% of those are senior citizens 65 or older. History has shown flu pandemics killing higher proportions of younger adults.

In the end, only time will tell, and hopefully it will tell us soon with winter moving into the Southern part of the world.

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