Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What WHO Definition?

From the Associated Press article:

The World Health Organization is gearing up to declare a swine flu pandemic, a move that could trigger both the large-scale production of vaccines and questions about why the step was delayed for weeks as the virus continued to spread.

On Wednesday, WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan quizzed eight countries with large swine flu outbreaks to see if a pandemic, or global epidemic, should be declared. After Chan's teleconference, the agency announced that an emergency meeting with its flu experts would be held Thursday.
In May, several countries urged WHO not to declare a pandemic, fearing it would spark mass panic. The agency appeared to cave into the requests, saying it would rewrite its definition of a global outbreak so that it wouldn't have to declare one right away for swine flu.

But WHO officials have been concerned in recent days after seeing media reports and health experts discussing more swine flu cases than were being reported by the countries themselves.

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