WHO reportedly prepares to declare pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)
The World Health Organization’s chief is reportedly on the brink of declaring the outbreak of a new strain of A/H1N1 swine flu a pandemic, though she said that doesn’t necessarily mean the disease is highly lethal or that it will hit the entire globe.
“There is a lot of misunderstanding in terms of fear and death,” Margaret Chan, the United Nations public health agency’s director-general, told the Wall Street Journal Sunday.
“It doesn’t mean death in big numbers is going to happen.”
Once the disease begins spreading in a sustained way in other parts of the world, WHO protocols compel her to make the declaration, she told the Journal, even though the strain isn’t as deadly as most people tend to associate with the word “pandemic”.
President Barack Obama in his weekly radio address reiterated some of the administration’s recommendations, including asking schools with confirmed cases to close for up to 14 days, and urging businesses to let sick employees take all the sick days they need.