Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu (H1N1) Upgraded to Phase 5

The World Health Organization has classified the current outbreak of the Swine Flu (H1N1) to Phase 5 of the Pandemic Influenza Phases. As of April 29, 2009, there have been 148 confirmed cases of swine influenza A/H1Ni infection in 9 countries - US (91 with 1 death), Mexico (26 cases with 7 deaths), Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).

Swine Flu (H1N1) Upgraded to Phase 5

WHO defines Phases 5 -6 as the following:

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of 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.

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

Please remember to follow these CDC guidelines to stay healthy:
  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.

  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

  4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  5. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Be sure to use our health care provider locator on Our website contains addresses, phone numbers, quality information, user ratings, driving directions, and more much for U.S. health care providers, such as hospitals, urgent care walk-in clinics, and free clinics, and federally qualified health clinics.

Other Links of Interest:
Swine Flu (H1N1) and Travel Warnings
Update on Swine Flu (H1N1) Outbreak Locations (US)
How to Protect Yourself From the Swine Flu (Pig Flu or H1N1)
Swine Flu (H1N1) Signs and Symptoms
*Information on is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your physician. In cases of emergency, seek care from an emergency health care provider.

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