Australia's Victoria Raises A/H1NI Flu Alert Level
    2009-06-03 13:35:31     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
 
Australia's Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon on Wednesday announced Victoria had become the first Australian jurisdiction to lift its pandemic alert level from contain to a modified sustained phase.

So far more than three-quarters of the 502 Australians diagnosed with A/H1N1 flu are from the state of Victoria.

Roxon said other states and territories will inevitably follow Victoria's lead and raise their human A/H1N1 alert level.

"We do expect that over the coming days and weeks other jurisdictions will also see this disease gradually spread throughout their communities and will ultimately need to move to this phase," she said in Canberra on Wednesday.

Victoria's new alert level means the state can more intensely target those at risk of contracting the virus.

Roxon said this would involve testing people in vulnerable settings such as aged-care facilities, hospitals and special schools and implementing more extensive tracing of those at risk of severe complications from the bug.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop announced random flu testing would begin around the country in a bid to understand how the virus was spreading.
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