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USAID Provides $5M in Emergency Support as Swine Flu Spreads
Date:4/28/2009

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As concerns over the spread of swine flu grow, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that it is providing an additional $5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in emergency support for efforts to detect and contain the disease in Mexico.

"Since 2005, USAID has committed $543 million to support pandemic prevention and preparedness across the globe," said Alonzo Fulgham, Acting USAID Administrator. "This additional $5 million is specifically aimed at helping to control the transmission of swine flu in Mexico, through advanced disease surveillance and control measures."

USAID is also working closely with U.N. and civil society partners to adapt and disseminate important public health messages for communities and healthcare facilities about swine flu and how to limit risks for disease transmission.

"Containing the spread of certain animal diseases, like swine flu and avian influenza, is critical to limiting the threat of a pandemic," Fulgham continued. "As demonstrated in recent days," he added, "such diseases can spread quickly, so informing the public about how to reduce risks is critical."

Swine flu is of particular concern because it is both a novel virus and spreads efficiently among humans, meeting two of three criteria for a pandemic.

On April 25, WHO declared the ongoing spread of swine flu a public health emergency of international concern. On April 27, WHO raised the level of influenza pandemic alert to Phase 4, indicating an increased likelihood of a pandemic. The increased alert level does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is inevitable. WHO sent a team of responders, including two experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to work with authorities in Mexico. The team will further investigate and c
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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