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Pandemic FluAbout: Pandemic Flu

Pandemic flu is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus appears or “emerges” in the human population, causes serious illness and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide. Past influenza pandemics have led to high levels of illness, death, social disruptions and economic loss.

For a flu pandemic to occur, three conditions must be met:

  1. An new influenza A virus appears or “emerges” in the human population
  2. The new virus must cause serious illness in people
  3. The new virus is spread easily from person to person worldwide

On June 11, 2009, Novel H1N1 influenza A was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) because it met the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic.

Many scientists believe that avian (H5N1) influenza could possibly develop into a pandemic. Currently, avian influenza meets the first two criteria for being a pandemic. Avian influenza does not currently spread easily from person to person. Avian flu remains at Pandemic Alert level three.

Current Pandemic Threat
The World Health Organization (WHO) had developed a six phase guide to measure the threat of pandemic influenza.

This is the first time the world has seen a pandemic since the last one occured in 1968.

Pandemic Flu Phases

 

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