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World Health Organization Declares Pandemic Level Six

SIMCOE, ON- June 11, 2009- As of June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization has increased the pandemic alert level to six. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit continues to monitor the situation and take such actions as deemed appropriate.

Level 6 indicates sustained community level outbreaks/transmission in at least two regions of the world. This pandemic level alert system developed by WHO currently does not speak to the severity of the novel H1N1 virus. WHO considers the overall severity of the influenza pandemic to be moderate. To date, most individuals who have acquired the virus experienced a mild form of illness and have recovered or are recovering without the need for medical care.

Currently, there are 1,562 confirmed cases of the novel H1N1 virus in Ontario. There is only one case in Haldimand and none in Norfolk.
The public are advised to take the usual measures to help protect yourself and reduce the risk of spreading communicable disease:

· Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and hot water or use an alcohol-hand sanitizer.
· Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
· Make sure your vaccinations, especially your flu shot, are up-to-date.
· Stay home if you are ill.

Media Contact:
Cathy Lanni
Program Coordinator
Communicable Disease Program
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-5870 Ext. 3205
[email protected]