How U.N. redefined 'pandemic' to heighten alarm over H1N1

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    But in early May, just prior to the initial declaration, WHO made little-noticed changes to its definition of a pandemic.

    The previous definition of a pandemic stated:

    An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several, simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness. With the increase in global transport and communications, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions, epidemics due the new influenza virus are likely to quickly take hold around the world (emphasis added).

    The WHO changed that definition, omitting the section indicating "enormous numbers of deaths and illness." It now states:

    A disease epidemic occurs when there are more cases of that disease than normal. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic of a disease. An influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity. With the increase in global transport, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions in some areas, epidemics due to a new influenza virus are likely to take hold around the world, and become a pandemic faster than before. WHO has defined the phases of a pandemic to provide a global framework to aid countries in pandemic preparedness and response planning. Pandemics can be either mild or severe in the illness and death they cause, and the severity of a pandemic can change over the course of that pandemic (emphasis added).

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