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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-03-05-2009-00.htm

Press Release: 3rd May 2009, Sunday         20th Vaisakh (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi )

Press Release

Be Prepared for a Possible Second Wave of Swine Flu - UK Health Secretary

AVOID IT, CATCH IT, BIN IT AND KILL IT

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK has risen to 15 as health chiefs await the results of more than 600 tests for the disease. In the USA, as of 1st May, 2009, 141 cases have been confirmed in 19 states across the US. There has been one death in a 23-month-old child in Texas with an underlying high risk medical condition.

London, UK – Since the Swine flu (H1N1 virus) took its first human victim in Mexico on April 13th, health authorities around the world have been doing their best to contain its spread. However all pandemics comes in two phases and the second phase, when the weather gets colder, is always much more serious, for which we must be prepared, the UK Health Secretary said today.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Alan Johnson, UK Health Secretary said, "But you know our evidence from all previous pandemics is you get two phases - so you get a first wave, which is often very mild, and then you get a much more serious wave that comes along in the autumn and the winter. So we have to not just deal with this outbreak now, but prepare perhaps for a second phase further down the line."

When asked if he had any sense of how high the numbers could go up in the UK, Mr Johnson said, "No we don't because, as yet, the scientists can't make a prediction. That's why the World Health Organisation is keeping this at phase five, while an awful lot of work goes on to determine how this might spread and how many people might be involved."

He added, "..our job is always to make sure people understand the seriousness of the situation without becoming unduly alarmed. So the stage we're at at the moment is a stage of containment."

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK has risen to 15 as health chiefs await the results of more than 600 tests for the disease. In the USA, as of 1st May, 2009, 141 cases have been confirmed in 19 states across the US. There has been one death in a 23-month-old child in Texas with an underlying high risk medical condition.

Mr Johnson repeated the following advice for how to respond to the current wave of the swine flu, "But it's the advice that comes from the Second World War once again, which is catch it, bin it, kill it. You know it's good hygiene. It's covering your using a tissue if you're blowing your nose, disposing of it effectively and then washing your hands. So they're simple messages, but they're the messages actually on public health that have never been bettered. They're the old messages, but they're as relevant today as they were then."

UNITED SIKHS has issued a global advisory, in English and Panjabi, through a slide show which can be downloaded here (English) and here (Punjabi) .

We advise you to circulate the slide show and present it at your places of worship and family gatherings. The message is: Dont take it lightly. But dont panic.

Issued By:

Gurmit Singh
Director
UNITED SIKHS
+44 (0)770983042 (UK) +1 646688 3525 (USA)
sikhaid@unitedsikhs.org


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