Thursday, April 30, 2009

WHO mulls Phase 6, watches Spain for sustained trnsmission pattern

SHOOT: Although this is very toubling, at least we've not seen deaths outside of Mexico so far. Of course there is no reason to believe that this could change at any time.
clipped from
A passenger wears a face mask Thursday at Gatwick Airport in England on arrival from Mexico.

GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- The number of confirmed swine flu cases worldwide has risen to 154, with six additional cases reported in Spain, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The WHO is troubled because in one of the 10 cases in Spain the virus was transmitted from person-to-person within the community.

The other nine infected people had returned from Mexico, where the crisis is most severe, according to WHO spokesman Dick Thompson.

If Spain sees more such cases of community transmission, the world body may have to elevate its pandemic alert to its highest level. Phase 6 is the pandemic phase and is characterized by a community-level outbreak in another country in a different WHO region.

"The significance is that it's another phase," Thompson said. "The virus is becoming established in another area, another country."

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