Sunday, April 26, 2009
In case your curious, like me, here's a convenient link to the WHO Global Influenza Preparedness Plan. It provides a clear, concise explanation of the different phases for epidemic alert and response and is easier to decipher than some news reports that may or may not be a bit sensational.
Phases 1 through 6 are summarized on page 2 along with the World Health Organization's proposed response for each. Perhaps most relevant to where we are now, teetering at Phase 3, is the following note below the Phase and Public Health Goals summary on page 2 - "The distinction between phase 3, phase 4 and phase 5 is based on an assessment of the risk of a pandemic. Various factors and their relative importance according to current scientific knowledge may be considered. Factors may include rate of transmission, geographical location and spread, severity of illness, presence of genes from human strains (if derived from an animal strain), and/or other scientific parameters."