UN: No plan to raise pandemic alert

May 4, 2009 7:52:01 AM PDT
The heads of the United Nations and the World Health Organization say there are no imminent plans to raise its pandemic alert to its highest level. In New York on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says WHO "has no plan to raise the alert level to 6 at this moment." WHO chief Margaret Chan also tells the U.N. General Assembly by videolink from Geneva that "we are not there yet."

Level 6 - the highest - would mean that a global outbreak of swine flu is under way. WHO raised the level to 5 last week.

Chan says there were now more than confirmed cases of swine flu in 20 countries, and there is "no indication" the situation is similar to the flu outbreak in 1918. Ban and Chan say there was no justification now for banning imports based on swine flu.


Key developments on swine flu outbreaks, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and government officials:

-Deaths: 25 confirmed in Mexico and one confirmed in U.S., a toddler from Mexico who died in Texas.

-Confirmed sickened worldwide, 1,036: 590 in Mexico; 247 in U.S.; 101 in Canada; 44 in Spain; 18 in Britain; eight in Germany; six in New Zealand; four in Israel and France; two in El Salvador and Italy; one each in Austria, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea and Switzerland.

-U.S. confirmed cases from CDC or states: New York, 63; Texas, 43; California, 29; Arizona, 18; South Carolina, 15; Delaware, 10; Louisiana, New Jersey and Massachusetts, seven; Colorado, four; Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin, three; Connecticut, Kansas and Michigan, two; and one each in Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Idaho and Utah.

-More U.S. school closings announced, including all 24 schools in a district west of Detroit after a high school student came down with an apparent case of the illness.

-The New Mexico Activities Association's board of directors suspended all athletic and activity programs for all member schools until further notice.

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about a third of confirmed U.S. cases are people who had been to Mexico and likely picked up the infection there.

-Hong Kong, where severe acute respiratory syndrome killed 299 in 2003, ordered weeklong quarantine of downtown hotel where a Mexican tourist was confirmed to have the illness, trapping 350 guests and employees inside.

-Mexican government charters a plane to bring its citizens home from China after 70 Mexican nationals traveling in China were quarantined there.

-Mexican officials will decide Monday whether to allow schools and businesses to reopen on Wednesday.

-World Health Organization said slaughtering pigs unnecessary because virus is being spread through humans, and it says a swine herd in Canada likely was infected by a farmworker who returned from Mexico.

-U.S. Meat Export Federation, which represents pork and beef interests abroad, estimates that U.S. pork exports have dropped about 10 percent since the swine flu scare started.

-Visitation at all California prisons has been suspended after an ill inmate at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County is being tested for swine flu.


FAQs about swine flu
Additional swine flu resources
Transcript of 6abc.com's swine flu chat with local experts


CDC Swine Flu site
World Health Organization


Swine flu cases around the world

Follow Action News on Twitter

Get Action News on your website

Follow Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.