koneko_desu (koneko_desu) wrote,

WHO raises alert from 4 to 5 (shouldn't it be the smaller the number the higher the alert??)

So apparently the World Health Organization has raised the alert level for the whatever-named flu from 4 to 5, which is the second highest alert level.  This apparently means that "a pandemic is imminent and countries must finalize preparations to deal with the outbreak of swine flu".

I kind of want to laugh because a) many people aren't taking it seriously b) many people think it's just a regular flu blown out of proportion c) many people think it's a bunch of b/s pulled up by the media, yet the WHO, the world's international authority on global health issues, has raised the alert to its second highest level.  The next time there's an epidemic where people ARE dropping like flies and they raise the alert level no one's going to take them seriously at this rate.  I mean if 5's the seond highest level, what's 6?  Quarantines in every country?  Suspension of civil liberties so that individuals suspected of having the illness can be quarantined/kept in isolation?  Closing of public spaces/events?  Medical personnel in white space-suits and gas masks running around treating everyone like they're disease infected?  If that's the scenario for the highest alert level right now it certianly doesn't feel like the second highest alert level.  I mean in Canada aside from a few "wash your hands!" encouragements I don't see our government doing much (except maybe flailing and some press releases over it).  Some countries have gone a bit further, slaughtering pigs and what-not.  China's done a few quarantines (first country to do so regarding this flu apparently), got bitched at again for it.  It seems the response to this kind of situation is up to each individual country and their laws/policies.  That's kind of messed up if it's an actual GLOBAL issue since if the countries aren't coordinating their efforts one country who decides not to cooperate can screw it up for everyone else.  You can have some countries treating it like it's no big deal while other countries are scrambling to assemble vaccinations and setting up quarantine stations.

Also, I thought we can't call it the swine flu anymore??  So why's CBC and BBC still doing it?

[EDIT]: Looking at the date of that first article it was put out on April 30th, so apparently this 'imminent pandemic' has been coming for a week now.  So then are we...in a pandemic already??

[Edit2]: Reading up on the definitions of levels 5 and 6 makes even less sense.  According to WHO, level 5 means "there is human-to-human spread of a virus in at least two countries in one region" and level 6 means "the new virus is spreading in a sustained way among communities in another region besides North America" (because apparently N. America is where it's currently spreading the most).  How many diseases are there that spreads from human-to-human all over the globe??  That means we're like...constantly in a pandemic...or several pandemics O___o
Tags: politics, world news
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