Phase 5 Pandemic Alert

The worldwide swine flu situation continues to evolve rapidly and WHO raised the pandemic alert level to phase 5 last night.

By 7 pm yesterday, nine countries had officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The US Government had reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico had 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).

Further information on the situation will be regularly updated on the WHO website.  WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.

There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

The UK-specific advice is available at: http://www.nhs.uk/AlertsEmergencies/Pages/Pandemicflualert.aspx  

Advice specific to Northern Ireland is available at:  http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/health-and-well-being/swine-flu.htm 

There is specific advice for children at http://kidstraveldoc.com/wordpress/special-report-swine-fluchildren

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