WHO Expected to Declare Level 6 “Within Days”
April 30, 2009
Swine flu will carry the name “pandemic” even if the new virus turns out to cause mainly mild symptoms as it sweeps the world, raising questions about how serious the global alert actually is.
Although it has been deadly in the disease epicenter, Mexico, and caused the death of one Mexican infant in the United States, in other countries people infected with swine flu have fared well, with diarrhea the biggest complaint.
The World Health Organization is expected to move quickly to designate a full pandemic — at level 6 of its 6-point scale — within days to reflect the continuing spread of swine flu among people who have not been to Mexico, including in Europe.
Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, on Wednesday night raised the world flu alert level from 4 to 5 and said: “It is really all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.”
Echoing other infectious disease experts, and drawing on her experience fighting SARS and bird flu outbreaks as health director of Hong Kong, she said viruses such as the H1N1 swine strain needed to be closely watched in case they worsen.
How to Prepare for a Pandemic --Book review
We have been repeatedly warned by leading medical professionals and government health officials that a severe influenza pandemic is a very real possibility, with potential global death tolls exceeding 100 million. We are told that a pandemic will likely last 12-18 months in multiple waves, and to expect widespread social disruption. We are told that we need to stockpile non-perishable food and water, as our food supply chain and utilities may become severely degraded or completely inoperative. Yet there is little information available from them on how families can prepare for such a long term traumatic event.
This book lays out in detail the planning, preparation, and actions to take to avoid an inevitable mass scramble for suppliers' small and increasingly backlogged inventories of storable food, water storage and purification equipment, emergency lighting and communications, alternative transportation, and a host of other important necessities. The book provides planning guidelines and practical how-to for the;
type, quantity, and source of non-perishable food
techniques for collecting, storing, and purifying water
approaches for reliable lighting and staying informed in the event of a electrical grid collapse
formulas for sizing a solar PV system for backup (or everyday) power
ways to keep your house warm in the winter
measures to protect your family from public unrest
procedures to treat sick family members when hospitals are overwhelmed
approaches to simple cleaning and sanitation
and a host of other preparations needed for families to stay healthy and safe during a serious influenza pandemic.
“The book is crammed with lots of very valuable information on preparing for this emergency with the focus on the needs of the family. I found it very informative and helpful for making and improving the quality of my family’s plan. This is a unique and very timely contribution to the preparedness literature that is long overdue. It is a must read and reference text for anyone who is serious about preparing their home and family for the possibility of a severe influenza pandemic.”
-- Dr. Grattan Woodson, MD, author The Bird Flu Preparedness Planner, The Bird Flu Manual
“An intensively researched, user-friendly, and imminently practical crash course in surviving on limited resources. Whether coming as a pandemic, hurricane, or ice storm, disaster-induced disruption of societal support systems is increasingly inevitable, and this guide is a must-have to help you and your loved ones plan to survive.”
-- Thomas Honey, owner of Honey Electric Solar Inc.
“William Stewart’s How to Prepare for a Pandemic covers the breadth of disaster planning and is an important, comprehensive contribution to the literature of pandemic preparation.”
-- Melanie Mattson, risk communicator, publisher The Flu Wiki
Top Books on Pandemics