World Health Organization Raises Pandemic Alert to Level 6
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): June 12, 2009 - Beginning in late March of this year, many parts of the world have been experiencing an outbreak of a new influenza virus, called "influenza A/H1N1" (formerly called "swine influenza"). This virus causes a respiratory disease similar to, but potentially more serious than, regular seasonal influenza ("the flu").
As the virus has continued to spread throughout the world, all countries including FSM have activated their Pandemic Preparedness plans, to prepare themselves for a possible pandemic, or worldwide epidemic. This has included public health measures at points of entry (for example airports), public information campaigns, and healthcare facility preparedness.
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared "Phase 6" in its Pandemic Phases system, indicating that a pandemic is occurring. The declaration of Phase 6 will help guide FSM in its planning and response activities. The declaration of a pandemic indicates that the virus is widespread, not necessarily how severe the disease is. However, WHO is concerned about this virus because it is new and one to which most people do not have immunity, there is not yet a vaccine for this disease, it is spreading rapidly, and it behaves differently from seasonal influenza (for example, it is affecting younger people and those with no underlying health conditions).
What the Public Can Do:
Local agencies and organizations can contribute to our efforts in 3 important ways:
For additional information, contact the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs at 320-2619.
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 e-mail: email@example.com http://www.fsmpio.fm/