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Swine flu threat raised to Phase 4

Despite crossing oceans and national borders, the swine flu has not yet made its way to Ennis, but concern about the virus has Ennis Regional Medical Center working to increase awareness about prevention of this strain of influenza.
The swine flu is a combination of human, swine and bird flu viruses, said Sherrie Watkins, chief clinical officer at Ennis Regional Medical Center. This strain – a subtype of Influenza A/HINI – is a brand new flu that no one has seen before.
“We’ve never seen it,” Watkins said. “It’s unusual, and certainly should be of concern.”
The swine flu has already spread to at least six countries besides Mexico, prompting World Health Organization officials to raise its alert level on Monday.
"At this time, containment is not a feasible option," said Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization.
WHO raised the alert level to Phase 4, meaning there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country. Monday was the first time it has ever been raised above Phase 3.
The decision by WHO to put an alert at Phases 4 or 5 signals that the virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans. Phase 6 is for a full-blown pandemic, characterized by outbreaks in at least two regions of the world.

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Posted by on Apr 29 2009. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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