Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) raising the H1N1 pandemic alert level to Phase 6, Alberta officials said the risk to the general public still remains low.
Alberta’s chief medical officer, Dr. Andre Corriveau, said officials are not surprised the WHO indicated a global pandemic is underway with the spreading of the virus.
“The Phase 6 designation is not indicative of how severe this disease is. It is a measure of where and how widespread the new virus has gone around the world,” he added.
Alberta Health and Wellness spokesperson Howard May said Albertans don’t need to overreact to the new designation.
“For Alberta, nothing has changed today. The new level has more to do with statistics than severity,” May said.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann called on the Alberta government to resolve issues he feels are hampering the province’s ability to respond to the flu. “Ed Stelmach and Ron Liepert continue to experiment with our health-care system at a time when we can least afford to make mistakes. I urge them both to prepare our health-care system for the flu’s return.”