Pandemic Alert Raised to Phase 5

WHO Sees Imminent Global Outbreak of Swine Flu The World Health Organization Wednesday raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, an indication that a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

The phase 5 alert means sustained human-to-human spread in at least two countries has occurred. It also signals that efforts to produce a vaccine will be ramped up. WHO has confirmed human cases of swine flu in Mexico, United States, Canada, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and Spain. Mexico and the U.S. have reported deaths.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reports that the decision was made to raise the alert level from phase 4 - signifying transmission in only one country - after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on the outbreak.

The Mexican government has ordered all unnecessary businesses to close, and all schools were shut earlier in the week to slow the spread of the flu virus. In Texas, a Wednesday announcement that all sporting events at secondary schools would be cancelled or postponed shows the level of concern. For banking institutions that need more information see Swine Flu: 5 Tips to Ensure Pandemic Preparation.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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