Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Phase 5

The WHO has now updated their pandemic warning / preparedness notice for the Mexican "swine flu" A/H1N1 outbreak through 4 and up to Phase 5, reflecting human-to-human transmission in two or more countries (Mexico and the U.S.A.; no surprise there).

What that means for Japan is this: Border surveillance, already in place, will be re-enforced; Readiness preparedness for managing any outbreak has begun to move from the planning room to the clinics. Kyoudou (Kyodo) wire service is now reporting that Masuzoe Youichi (Y. Masuzoe), the Kousei Roudou Daijin (Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare) has ordered the preparation of "fever clinics" at medical institutions nationwide.

To say the government is taking all prudent precautions may be an understatement. As of this morning (Thursday, local time) Japan has *no* confirmed or suspected cases of the influenza in question. But the cost is relatively small and the preparations might just be the difference between there being a major event and the government receiving a bit of snark over all the effort. If it were my call, with the resources available, I'd have ordered the same precautions.

No comments: