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Expert says swine flu could spread faster than SARS virus
SINGAPORE: Medical experts say more work needs to be done to figure out how to stop swine flu from becoming a pandemic.
And what's worrying is that the new swine flu strain could spread faster and is harder to detect compared to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus, which caused an epidemic in 2003.
Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, clinical director of Communicable Disease Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said: "We know that usually the characteristic of influenza is that the infectious period of an infected person will start one day before clinical illness and about seven days after the onset of clinical illness.
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WHO Said to Raise Flu Alert to Unprecedented Level (Update1)
April 27 (Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization plans to raise its pandemic alert to an unprecedented level today, saying that swine flu is spreading across North America, two people familiar with the agency said.
An increase above level 3 on the WHO’s six-step alert system would be the first since the United Nations agency began grading pandemic risks in 1999. The agency’s guidelines say the goal of a level 4 alert is “containment of the new virus within a limited area or delay of its spread,” suggesting the change will trigger travel warnings. Level 5 would be “a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent.”
The WHO may advise governments to screen people coming in and out of Mexico and other affected areas, limit travel, distribute antiviral medicines from global stockpiles and start the process of producing a pandemic vaccine, according to the guidelines revised last month. The people familiar with the WHO declined to be named because the deliberations are confidential. Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO, declined to comment.
GENEVA: The World Health Organization says there are now 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States and that it is "very concerned'' about the disease's spread.
WHO says none of the cases in the U.S. have been fatal. But the U.N. agency says it could decide in a matter of hours whether to raise its pandemic alert level as a result of the increasing number of confirmed swine flu cases in Mexico and elsewhere.
The United States and other countries across the globe increased their vigilance as the World Health Organization said there are now 40 confirmed cases in the U.S.
That’s twice the number previously reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. None of the cases in the U.S. has been fatal.