WHO: It's A Pandemic

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As we’ve been pointing out, the swine flu story isn’t over, just because the media’s got bored with and moved on.

The World Health organisation is set to declare it a pandemic.

Globe & Mail: Asia prepared for even tighter swine flu controls today as countries said they had received advance notice from the World Health organisation that it was planning to declare the first global flu pandemic in more than four decades.

Health ministries in Thailand and Indonesia said an email alert from WHO advised them that a pandemic would be declared as early as midnight local time.

“We are ready because we have the experience with bird flu,” Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told reporters. “The Health Ministry is on the highest alert, and people need not panic. We have sent a circular to all hospitals to prepare themselves.”

The world is in phase 5 of WHO’s pandemic alert scale, meaning a global outbreak is imminent. Moving to phase 6, the highest level, means a pandemic has begun. It will trigger drug makers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine and prompt governments to devote more money to containing the virus.

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