Swine flu, alert level raised. Deaths and human to human infections.
Margaret Chan, WHO Director, urged all countries to activate their pandemic plans, including “heightened surveillance and infection-control measures”. She added: "It really is the whole of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic." But she also said the world was "better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history"”.
So far the countries where the virus has manifested itself are: Mexico (159 suspected deaths, 7 of them confirmed to have been caused by the virus); USA (1 death; 91 cases of infection); Canada (13 cases); Spain (10 cases); Great Britain (5 cases); Germany (3); New Zealand (3); Israel (2); Austria (1).
Schools have been closed in Mexico and the population has been invited to stay indoors and only go out if strictly necessary. Fearing infection even Ghana has joined the countries now banning all pork imports. In Egypt the Health Minister has decided to eliminate all pig farms across the nation starting today.
Chan, the WHO director, stressed that there was no danger from eating properly-cooked pork.She advised hygiene measures such as hand-washing to prevent infection and said it was important "to maintain a level of calm". But she also warned that current WHO antiviral stocks were too low and said the organisation needed more donations from companies and governments.