WHO Raises Flu Alert Level Again

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Economy, Health Care, News, Swine Flu

null

As nations around the world confirm more and more cases of swine flu, the World Health Organization has decided to raise the phase of alert to 5, which is one level short of an all-out pandemic.

The WHO said the phase 5 alert means there is sustained human to human spread in at least two countries. It also signals that efforts to produce a vaccine will be ramped up.

Although all the deaths except one have occurred in Mexico, the impact of swine flu is already being felt. Just ask pig farmers, whose industry is is suffering thanks, in part, to the misconception that the flu can be transmitted through pork (it can’t). Additionally, with airlines anticipating significant losses because of travel restrictions and some lawmakers considering closing the U.S./Mexican border, the economic impact of swine flu looks to be considerable even if the virus turns out to be far less dangerous than feared.

Of course, we should be so lucky if only the economy is injured by this disease. Given the fatal influenzas of the past and this virus’s quick spread, it’s hard to fault governments and individuals from erring on the side of caution. Here in South Texas, there are unofficial reports of hundreds, maybe thousands of positive flu tests that have not yet been confirmed as swine flu due to the local health departments’ lack of resources to test so many samples. While the lack of fatalities is encouraging, the idea that the official number of infections may be drastically low is worrisome.

By all evidence, this virus has indeed reached a near-pandemic stage. What remains to be seen is not whether it spreads but what damage it does. We can only pray for the best.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 and is filed under Economy, Health Care, News, Swine Flu. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply


NOTE TO COMMENTERS:


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


Related Posts: