Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WHO daily update

As of 06:00 GMT, 8 June 2009, 73 countries have officially reported 25,288 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection, including 139 deaths (http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_06_08/en/index.html)

In today's WHO briefing, Dr. Fukuda repeated that WHO is getting closer to declaring a pandemic.

WHO has been focusing preparing countries for the announcement. Declaring a pandemic is not simply a matter of just saying we’re in phase 6; it means countries are as prepared as possible, have the right tools and guidance and are able to address concerns of the population. It's critical people and goverments do not over react and that they understand that the current assessment is that the pandemic is moderate, so countries have a variety of options to responding to a pandemic in a moderate situation.

Another situation that WHO and flu experts are watching closely - The Canadian Province of Manitoba has a surge in the number of people requiring intensive care for influenza-like illnesses.

Many thanks to our colleagues at the H2P Initiative (www.pandemicpreparedness.org) for putting together notes on the press briefings.

For an audio of the meeting, visit: www.who.int/mediacentre

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