WHO Raises Swine Flu Level to Pandemic

June 11, 2009

Geneva (ChattahBox) – The World Health Organization has officially risen the status of swine flu to pandemic, after a sharp rise in cases in Australia, which reported 1,263 cases on Thursday, and rising numbers in Britain, Japan, Chile and elsewhere. It is the first global flu epidemic in 41 years, news services reported.

The move was mainly to up pressures to battle the quickly spreading flu virus before it mutates, as the illness has only caused 141 confirmed deaths worldwide, of the 30,000 cases. The vaccine will now be receiving more funding, and containment efforts are planned to increase.

The biggest fear is that increasing cases could overwhelm hospitals and clinics, which are already under strain in poorer countries, and countries that are experiencing heavy economic crisis. Though cases tend to be mild, and death isn’t a major risk factor in this strain, the financial implications are still worrying.

Most dangerous still is the effect of misinformation after media sensationalism helped fuel panic in many areas where the virus has hit. For instance, in Argentina a passenger on a bus was stoned to death after exhibiting flu like symptoms.

Citizens should be urged not to take foolish actions in this time of outbreak. Swine flu it rarely fatal, and containment is a natural move for a pandemic, even one this mild. Common sense steps against catching the flu are all that are needed, such as washing hands, keeping surfaces clean, and avoiding direct contact with those who have symptoms.

If you have flu in nearly all cases all that will be needed is rest and plenty of fluids. For more information visit the WHO website at: http://www.who.int/en/


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