Why isn't this getting more media coverage. Why aren't politicians calling for action to be taken. Do you trust them to protect us? We should be demanding the government start taking more measures to insure greater preparedness. The 9-11 and the economic meltdown happened because we are not vigilant. Wake up before it's too late.
The World Health Organisation declared an influenza pandemic on Thursday and called on governments to prepare for a long-term battle against an unstoppable flu virus.
The United Nations agency raised its pandemic flu alert to phase 6 on a six-point scale, indicating the first influenza pandemic since 1968 is under way.
"With today's announcement, WHO moves from an emergency to a longer-term response. Based on past experience, this pandemic will be with us for some months, if not years, to come," WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said in a letter to staff, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
People aged 30-50, pregnant women or people suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes or obesity are deemed at highest risk, she told a news conference.
Countries from Australia to Chile and the United States are also reporting that the new virus, commonly known as swine flu, is "crowding out" seasonal flu, becoming the predominant influenza strain, she said.
In fact the government is doing the opposite when they should be protecting us.
Well, as it turns out, volcano monitoring wasn't the only worthwhile public safety program that was deemed extravagant in the stimulus package, funding for pandemic preparation was axed as well. And playing a critical role was Susan Collins -- for whom the necessity of obtaining her vote is in inverse proportion to the intelligence she shows in policy making.
Via The Nation:
Famously, Maine Senator Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: "Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not."
Even now, Collins continues to use her official website to highlight the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate's version of the stimulus measure.
But we should not panic. Just prepare:
It's official: We're in a swine flu pandemic, the World Health Organization declared today.
"The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, said at a news conference.
That sounds scary. But neither the H1N1 swine flu virus nor the disease it causes are any worse today than they were weeks ago.
The only thing that's changed is that the WHO now officially acknowledges that H1N1 swine flu is circulating in communities in widespread parts of the globe, and that all nations can eventually expect to see cases.
"This does not mean there is any difference in the severity of the flu. This is not, at this point, a flu pandemic that is anywhere as severe as the 1918 pandemic," said Thomas R. Frieden, MD, in his first news conference since taking over as director of the CDC.
The announcement also triggers the pandemic preparedness plans of nations not yet affected by swine flu. It will have little or no effect on the U.S., which since mid-April has been aggressively putting national pandemic plans into action.
"For all intents and purposes, the U.S. has been in a flu pandemic for some time," Frieden said. "But this means the virus is here and is here to stay, and we must prepare our response."