Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pandemic Imminent!

We're at Phase 5, people. At this hour, the WHO website is overwhelmed with traffic. Go ahead, try it.

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
The only phase worse is Phase 6 - a full-blown pandemic:
Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.
WHO's Dr Margaret Chan: 'All countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans'. She added: "It really is the whole of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic."

Egypt has overreacted by ordering all of its roughly 250,000 to 400,000 pigs to be killed ("Slaughter the Swine!"), causing the farmers there to riot.


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