No evidence to raise pandemic flu alert level to phase six: WHO + Latest snapshot of swine flu crisis

Mexico on edge as reports of swine flu cases climb (AP)
Hiram Diaz, 8, left, gives his 6-year-old sister Adely Diaz a ride on the pegs of his bicycle while wearing protective masks near the market where their parents own a store in Mexico City, Saturday, April 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Julio Cortez)
The World Health Organisation on Thursday said there was no evidence to suggest that it should raise a pandemic flu alert from phase five to the highest level of six.

"Today that assessment holds steady and we do not have any evidence that we should move to phase six today or any such move is imminent right now," said WHO acting Assistant Director General Keiji Fukuda.

The WHO on Wednesday raised the alert level from four to five, signalling that a pandemic was "imminent". Phase six would suggest that the world is in a pandemic.

Fukuda reported a mulitplication of confirmed cases in Mexico to 97, while the number of confirmed deaths stayed steady at seven.

But while the epidemiological situation "continues to evolve" and the case load continued in Mexico, the situation was largely stable.

"The jump in numbers being reported by Mexico probably represents a lot of work being down right now to go through the backlog of specimens collected from people with different symptoms," Fukuda said.

"We have also seen in other countries cases holding steady, for example the United States," Fukuda said in a global telephone news conference.

"There is nothing which suggests epidemiologically today that we should be moving towards phase six," he added.

-- MEXICO: Epicentre of the swine , with 84 probable deaths, eight confirmed so far. The government says there are 99 confirmed cases of the disease.

Latest snapshot of swine flu crisis

An overview of the current swine flu crisis:

-- THE UNITED STATES: The United States is the second country to have a confirmed swine flu death. The number of confirmed cases of in the United States rose to 111 spread across 13 states, health officials said..

-- CONFIRMED INFECTIONS: Thirteen countries have been affected in addition to Mexico.

According to the World Health Organization: The United States 91, Mexico 26, Canada 13, Germany 3, Britain 5, Israel 2, New Zealand 3, Spain 4, Austria 1.

The following countries have also announced confirmed cases: Costa Rica 2, Netherlands 1, Peru 1, Switzerland 1.

- NATIONS WITH SUSPECTED INFECTIONS: Argentina 3, Australia 114, Chile 24, Colombia 59, Denmark 5, Finland 1, France 41, Ireland 3, Italy 20, Japan 1, Poland 2, Portugal 1, South Africa 1, South Korea 4, Sweden 5.

-- NATIONS WITH PARTIAL OR TOTAL BANS ON PORK IMPORTS: Bahrain, Belarus, China, Croatia, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Philippines, Lebanon, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates.

-- NATIONS WHICH HAVE SUSPENDED FLIGHTS TO MEXICO: Argentina, Cuba. Peru has banned flights from Mexico.

(c) 2009 AFP


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