BBC News is reporting: Swedish government says WHO lifting swine flu alert to level six of pandemic
Swedish government says WHO lifting swine flFollow PlagueGirl on Twitter!u alert to level six of pandemic
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.”
WHO director Margaret Chan is speaking to several countries today about the recent increases in reported swine flu cases.
“Chan says she personally believes that a pandemic is under way, but will be seeking clear proof that the new A(H1N1) virus is spreading rapidly from person to person outside the Americas before declaring a global epidemic.”
Cases and deaths continue to rise as expected.
China has quarantined New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin after a passenger on his flight was suspected of contracting the virus.
Oklahoma reported its first death from swine flu; a 43 year old male who had underlying medical conditions (of course) including asthma.
Pennsylvania reported its second death; a 26 year old woman. It was not reported if she had other medical conditions.
A leading federal health official said today that so far they have not seen genetic variations from swine flu samples taken across the world. A shift in the genetic makeup of the virus could be an indicator that the virus is adapting itself to humans, and could signal a more virulent and deadly strain ahead.
The WHO is also considering adding another measure that indicates the severity of the swine flu, rather than only the spread of the virus…”after several countries expressed concerns that declaring a global pandemic could cause mass confusion and panic even though it’s still not clear how dangerous the virus will be.”