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STATEMENT FROM DR. MARK HORTON, DIRECTOR OF THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, REGARDING THE RAISING OF THE PANDEMIC ALERT LEVEL 

Date: 6/11/2009 

Number: NR2009-55 

Contact: Al Lundeen - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

“Today the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the Pandemic Alert Level from Phase 5 to Phase 6.  This reflects the novel H1N1 Influenza A’s (swine flu) geographic presence in more places around the world, but does not signify an increase in the flu’s severity.

“Phase 6 indicates that the new flu virus spreads easily from one person to another, the virus is found in many countries, and that a global pandemic is underway. According to WHO, that now describes the H1N1 flu most accurately. Moving to Phase 6 will primarily activate a response in countries that have not already begun preparing or responding to the situation.

“The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has prepared for pandemic influenza and has already been actively responding to it. While there have been hospitalizations and deaths from the virus in California, and we expect there will be more, for most people who contract the virus the symptoms have been mild.

“CDPH will continue to monitor the novel H1N1 flu in California to alert the public to any significant changes that would impact the public’s health. To combat the spread of the virus, please remember to wash your hands, cough in your sleeve and stay home when sick.”

 
 
Last modified on: 6/23/2009 4:04 PM