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WHO raises flu pandemic alert to level 5

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 30 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1821
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. 1Florida

    The World Health Organization has raised its flu pandemic alert level to five, the second highest level, saying it thinks that a global outbreak of swine influenza is imminent.

    WHO’s spokesman Gregory Hartl, speaking at a press conference yesterday, recalled the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that killed 774 people in 2003, and said, “Border controls do not work. Travel restrictions do not work.

    “There was much more economic disruption caused by these measures than there was public health benefit,” he said, adding that WHO was advising countries to make sure national plans were in place to ease the effects of …

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