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“Don’t Panic Over A(H1N1) Flu”

  • May 1st, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

influenza-masks.jpgEuropean Union Health Ministers have declared a “no panic” response to the “swine flu” threatening a pandemic – now officially named Influenza A(H1N1).

The 27 Ministers, at Luxembourg (30.4.09), declared that plans were well in hand for a coordinated response to the disease, including prompt action on diagnosis and treatment, and collaboration with drug companies to produce a vaccine.

The Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, said that while outbreaks on a pandemic scale were likely, the particular strain of the disease might not bring a massive death toll.

“There is no need to panic”, she said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a one-line bulletin to give the flu a formal designation (30.4.09): “From today WHO will refer to the new influenza virus at Influenza A (H1N1).”

It has pointed out lack of evidence that the flu can be caught from live pigs or pork products.

More than 200 deaths have occurred, suspected of being due to the virus, with confirmed cases in at least 11 countries.

Scientists have thought the virus is a hybrid of pig, human and bird strains — or a combination of two strains from pigs, with humans not previously exposed to one of those.

Reference:

WHO, Geneva, (Home). www.who.int/en/, (1.5.09).

European Commission, Brussels, “EU steps up action on novel flu virus”, 30.4.09, IP/09/687.

Picture: WHO

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