Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5.
Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
Dr Margaret Chan stated that all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans.
At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.
Source: World Health Organization, Switzerland