PANDEMIC WARNING DECREASED TO ALERT PHASE
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Australia's Pandemic Phase moves from PROTECT to ALERT signifying the end of the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) pandemic in Australia.
This move has been taken on the advice by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jim Bishop, and Australian Health Protection Committee.
The advice of Professor Bishop is that levels of influenza-like illness in the community now continue to be low although sporadic activity has been reported within some states and territories.
As the number of cases has declined it is appropriate to declare the H1N1 pandemic over in Australia for this year by returning our pandemic phase to ALERT.
The key element of the ALERT phase is heightened vigilance for a new influenza virus or a change in a current circulating influenza virus, which may be of concern.
An assessment of Australia’s health sector response to the 2009 influenza pandemic is underway. The review process is focusing on what was planned, what happened during the response and identifies key issues and lessons learned. This information will be critical to inform future pandemic planning.
A total of 44,403 confirmed cases of swine flu have occurred in Australia since May 2009, including 6,767 in 2010.