Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WHO's on Fifth?

The Associated Press - Wed, Jun 10, 2009 -
WHO gets ready declare a swine flu pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) is gearing up to declare a swine flu pandemic. The world is in phase 5 of WHO's pandemic alert scale, meaning a global outbreak is imminent. Moving to phase 6, the highest level, means a pandemic has begun. If that declaration is made, it will push drugmakers to fast-track production of a swine flu vaccine.

The writing has been on the wall for weeks, said Chris Smith, a flu virologist at Cambridge University, adding he didn't know why WHO had waited so long to declare a pandemic. WHO probably doesn't want people to panic, but the virus is now unstoppable.

Since swine flu first emerged in Mexico and the United States in April, it has spread to 74 countries around the globe. On Wednesday, WHO reported 28,737 cases including 141 deaths. Most cases are mild and require no treatment.

* Navy reports 21 swine flu cases on USS Iwo Jima. The Navy has had 147 confirmed cases of H1N1, with 137 of those people already returned to work.
** Swine flu alert at Faslane nuclear submarine base as sailors and civilian worker fall ill

Influenza pandemics occur when a new strain of the influenza virus is transmitted to humans from another animal species. In contrast to the seasonal epidemics of influenza, pandemics occur irregularly. The 1918 Spanish flu was the most serious pandemic in recent history. Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality.

Unlike the following Abbott and Costello skit, H1N1 is definitely unfunny:



Post a Comment

<< Home