World Health Org raises swine flu alert from level 3 to 4

April 27, 2009

n an Emergency Committee meeting today, the Director-General of WHO has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4.

The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable.

As further information becomes available, WHO may decide to either revert to phase 3 or raise the level of alert to another phase.

This decision was based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating human-to-human transmission and the ability of the virus to cause community-level outbreaks.

Given the widespread presence of the virus, the Director-General considered that containment of the outbreak is not feasible. The current focus should be on mitigation measures.

The Director-General recommended not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. It was considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention.

WHO is coordinating the global response to human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html

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