WHO to Declare Swine Flu Pandemic Soon

June 3, 2009

(ChattahBox)–The World Health Organization announced this week it is on the brink of raising the swine flu alert to level 6 and declare a full scale Pandemic. This announcement comes right before the winter flu season begins to strike the countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

To date, the swine flu has infected people from 64 countries, including the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and Japan. Africa has not yet reported any cases, but WHO officials believe the lack of proper testing and health care, may be the reason.

WHO officials are concerned with the advent of the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere where a related strain of the swine flu became immune to the antiviral drug Tamiflu last year.

In order to raise the flu alert level to a pandemic, WHO officials would need evidence of widespread “community transmission,” beyond travelers, schools and immediate contacts found on two continents. The criteria has not been reached, but is expected soon.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda WHO’s flu chief, says the agency is considering adding a cautioning statement to the Pandemic status, advising people that the virus is not very lethal.

To date, 117 people have died from the swine flu worldwide, with at least 19 deaths occurring in the United States.

WHO officials are cautioning people not to depend on seasonal flu vaccines for protection against the swine flu. Traditional vaccines offer no protection.



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