Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bloomberg reports that WHO will declare phase in the next 10 days, according to anonymous source

An article on bloomberg.com is reporting that WHO will declare phase in the next 10 days, according to anonymous source.

"The Geneva-based agency, sometime in the next 10 days, will declare the first flu pandemic in 41 years, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the WHO’s deliberations are private. WHO is using the time before the announcement to help member states prepare.
“We held a series of consultations with public health officials and academics around the world to understand their concerns and get their advice about moving to level 6,” said Dick Thompson, a WHO spokesman in Geneva. “We are not at phase 6. We’re just exploring the issues associated with announcing a pandemic.” "

The article also discussed WHO using a scale to define severity, with the current H1N1 flu outbreak being characterized as less severe in order to provide clear guidance to countries and not cause panic or economic consequences

"Following yesterday’s discussion, the WHO is considering a three-point scale to denote different levels of severity once phase 6 has been declared, Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment, said on a conference call with reporters today. The experts said that besides assessing severity, the agency should offer tailored guidance to countries on how to respond to a pandemic, he said."

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