Swine Flu: Pandemic Alert Level 5 Issued by World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has risen the Pandemic alert level to 5 in response to the recent outbreak and rapid spread of the swine flu in North America and around the world. The WHO urges all countries to immediately activate their Pandemic emergency preparedness plans.

Definition of Pandemic level 5:

The definition of a Pandemic Alert Level 5, from the World Health Organization (WHO) site is:

“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.”

WHO chief, Margaret Chan, says “it really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic.” Chan goes on to say that the swine flu pandemic is evolving extremely fast and that it’s no longer a question of “if” it will become serious, but “how” the current pandemic will affect humanity.