That new strain of swine flu is spreading rapidly in the U.S. and internationally. Today the U.N. World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, took action: “I have decided to raise the level of pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5…” the second highest level. This means the world is at imminent risk of a pandemic–global outbreak of the illness, therefore, governments, agencies, businesses, and the pharmaceutical industry should ramp up their precautions and preparations for the worst.
Confirmed cases of this swine flu virus is being reported in 11 countries. In Mexico, considered the epicenter of the outbreak, 159 have died and more than a thousand others are being tested for it. Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the number of swine flu cases had surged to nearly 100 in this country with one fatality, a toddler, in Texas.
In California the confirmed cases climbed to around 15 with a marine, at a base in Twentynine Palms, diagnosed with swine flu. So far, no confirmed cases of that influenza virus in Los Angeles County. Locally, the city of Burbank has posted information and answers to the most common questions about swine flu on its website.