29 April 2009 23:23 [Source: ICIS news]
(Adds updates throughout)
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Chemical companies stressed preventive measures to deal with swine flu while the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday raised its alert level, saying that the chances of a worldwide pandemic were very high or even inevitable.
Speaking at WHO headquarters in
The WHO’s pandemic alert rating system has six phases, with stage five triggered by widespread human-to-human spread of a virus in two or more countries, an indication that a pandemic infection is imminent. Level six is reserved for actual pandemic activity, meaning widespread, community-wide human infections in multiple countries.Earlier on Wednesday, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first US swine flu death in Houston, the hub for much of the nation’s petrochemical production and trade.
Border Patrol spokesman Troy Simon called the docking at Dow's Iberville Parish plant a "non-event". Simon said the workers had runny noses.
The workers were told to stay onboard the vessel Pacific Gas, Simon added.
Dow plant employees who interacted with the tanker crew were sent to a doctor for precaution but showed no flu-like symptoms and were back on the job, according to a Dow spokeswoman. The ship was loaded and left for Colombia on Tuesday night.
The swine flu virus is suspected of killing over 150 people in
Earlier on Wednesday, Swiss pharmaceuticals firm Roche said it is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments around the world to make its oral antiviral medication Tamiflu available following increased reports of outbreaks of swine flu.(Additional reporting by Heather Doyle, Ben DuBose, George Martin and Lane Kelley)
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