News Release - June 11, 2009
SASKATCHEWAN MAINTAINS COURSE ON PANDEMIC RESPONSE
Saskatchewan's approach to monitoring and surveillance of the H1N1 virus is not changing as a result of the World Health Organization (WHO) raising its alert level to six - the pandemic phase.
The province's Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Moira McKinnon, says Saskatchewan continues to closely monitor the spread of the virus at the community level.
"This increase in the WHO alert level does not change our approach, and it does not mean that the risk to Saskatchewan residents is higher today than it was yesterday," Dr. McKinnon said. "It is an indication of the spread of the H1N1 virus, not necessarily its severity. Cases in Saskatchewan continue to be mild to moderate."
However, McKinnon indicated that Saskatchewan has increased surveillance in First Nations communities in response to clusters of more serious H1N1-related illnesses in Aboriginal communities in Manitoba.
"We are enhancing surveillance efforts in Saskatchewan's three northern health regions, and other aboriginal communities," McKinnon said. "We want to ensure that residents in those areas have sufficient information about preventative measures and that we are aware of any change in the number of cases or their severity. If we need to take additional measures in the north, we will discuss them with Aboriginal health authorities and follow up to implement.
"Recommendations for the general public continue to be the familiar reminders to wash hands frequently, cough and sneeze into your sleeve and stay home if you are feeling unwell."
Public health officials in Saskatchewan continue to be in close communication with federal and provincial public health colleagues and regional medical health officers, preparing our pandemic response.
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