April 28th, 2009

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WHO raises the pandemic threat level to 4 - sustained human to human spread





The WHO raised the alert level to phase 4, meaning there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country.

Its alert system was revised after bird flu in Asia began to spread in 2004, and Monday was the first time it was raised above phase 3.

"At this time, containment is not a feasible option," as the virus has already spread to several other countries, said WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda.

Putting an alert at phases 4 or 5 signals that the virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans. That move could lead governments to set trade, travel and other restrictions aimed at limiting its spread.

Phase 6 is for a full-blown pandemic, characterized by outbreaks in at least two regions of the world.

Ask your chemist what level of protective mask is optimal for you. In general any rating better than P2, N95 or FFP2 will stop 95% of airborne water droplets which spread the virus. Drying out the virus or using soap and water will kill it.

Common sense applies when using a face mask. Getting the filter media wet from rain or breath means you have to change masks, and touching the front of a used mask just transfers the viral particles to your hands, which then need to be washed.



the CRG healthcare site seems to have its head on straight when it comes to precautions.

They don't mention some later developments like the viroguard mask


as for me: I'm sticking to the old fashioned P2 mask that we have in the Bio21 supply store for $2.00 a mask and is also available from Bunnings, any chemist or your doctor.
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Surviving an Influenza Pandemic

Bottom line: Stay at home for 10 days and it'll burn itself out.


Psycho-Social: telephone, telephone numbers for health care providers and community health information telephone lines, plans for speaking to friends and family members to support the caregiver, information on the care of influenza-ill persons, and information on the maintenance of infection control measures for the home.

Food and Non-Perishables: for extended stay in home (10 days): ready-to eat, canned fruits, vegetables, meats, protein/fruit bars, dry cereal/granola, crackers, canned juices/bottled water, peanut butter/nuts, baby food, pet food (as applicable), and toilet paper.

Health Supplies: soap and water-based and alcohol-based hand-washing supplies, medicines for fever control (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin), thermometer, masks, tissues, home cleaning supplies, and other health supplies normally needed in the home sufficient for 10 day period.

Emergency Supplies: batteries, candles, manual can opener, garbage bags, and battery operated radio.

Patient and Caregiver Care and Support: plan for meal preparation, laundry, banking and essential shopping.

National and provincial pandemic influenza plans specify provision for local social service/public health support for these resource functions during a declared pandemic outbreak. Inform yourself of the methods for signing up for this support in your community as needed.