H1N1 News: WHO Declares Pandemic, Sets No Travel Restrictions1 min read
The World Health Organization has declared the H1N1 outbreak a pandemic but has characterized it as “moderate in severity” and has not recommended any international travel restrictions. At a press conference this morning, WHO officials noted that the most severe cases are in adults aged 30 to 50 and said their greatest concern is “we don’t know how this virus will behave under conditions typical in the developing world.” In fact, they anticipate a “bleaker picture as the virus spreads to areas with limited resources, poor healthcare and high prevalence of underlying medical problems.”
This declaration sets in motion a coordinated worldwide effort to manage the spread of the virus and to treat those infected. Details are sketchy but WHO officials say anti-viral drugs have already been sent to “many countries.” As for a vaccine, the WHO reports that the first doses will be available in September but in very small amounts. The WHO will be watching the progress of the pandemic in the coming weeks and will make recommendations on which populations (and countries) should be at the head of the line to receive vaccine supplies.
The Healthy Travel Blog will be tracking events as they unfold and highlighting the angles of most concern to international travelers. Please stay tuned.