Monday, May 25, 2009

W.H.O. to Rewrite Its Pandemic Rules

W.H.O. to Rewrite Its Pandemic Rules

The WHO has announced its intention to redefine how the organization responds to health threats, with the result that swine flu will never be defined as a full-scale epidemic, as it has thus far shown itself to be a relatively benign infection.

The current system was created in response to the avian flu in 2005, but many countries have complained that the point-system encourages undue panic.

According to the current system, which uses 6-points, swine flu is a level 5 threat - there has not yet been continental spread, as the spread of the disease has been due to travelers. Authorities also suspect that the movement of a pig from North America to Eurasia contributed to the current landscape of infection.

While the WHO attempts to maintain a balance between complacency and paranoia, the organization recognizes that there is little opportunity to evaluate the disease's threat, independent of a large-scale outbreak.

Elaine Su

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