Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori Receives Second Update from Department of Health and Social Affairs on H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic Threat

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): May 4, 2009 - The FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs has submitted their second report to President Mori to update the President on the Influenza pandemic threat. Secretary for the Depatrment, Dr. Vita Skilling, has alerted the President that since the first update earlier this week, the following have developed:

  • WHO has raised the influenza pandemic alert from 4 to 5, which means sustained human-to-human transmission in at least 2 countries (US and Mexico) in one WHO region (the Americas). Phase 5 is a "strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short." [WHO]

  • The total count of confirmed cases in the USA has reached 91, with one death in the State of Texas. The states in the USA with confirmed cases are Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ne3vada, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

  • Mexica has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

  • The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4), and the United Kingdom (5).

  • Although there has not been any suspected case anywhere in the FSM, we have shipped out the limited 100 courses of Tamiflu to the FSM states based on our Pandemic Influenza plan.

Secretary Skilling told that President that "given the seriousness and nature of this pandemic threat to the FSM, this Department continues to ask for the support of the recommendations that were made in Update #1 with the following recommendations added:

  1. A request from the appropriate level of Government be made to Continental or appropriate authority to have transit passengers remain on board during stop-overs.

  2. Create a National Taskforce and setup a command post.

  3. As a matter of policy, disallow travel to affected areas of the world.

  4. Fully activate the FSM Pandemic Influenza Plan.

The President has tasked the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA) to draft a letter to Continental asking for transit passengers to remain on board. DHSA confirmed that this is already happening in the Marshall Islands. President Mori has also set a National Taskforce to be based in the Bioterrorism office in Kolonia, Pohnpei and has officially activated the FSM Pandemic Influenza Plan.

Over the weekend, 4 pallets of medicine, supplies and equipment have arrived from the US National Stockpile and will be divided among the states as soon as the inventory has been verified. Each state has activated their Pandemic Influenza plan and flight passengers disembarking in the states are being screened to find passengers who may have originated from affected areas.

FSM has yet to report a case of the H1N1 Influenza A virus.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356