TAIPEI, Taiwan — Three more cases of swine flu, including the first-ever domestic infection, were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday, forcing the health authorities to raise the epidemic alert to the third stage or yellow level from level two.

The first case of domestic infection, which is the country’s seventh confirmed case, involves a 40-year-old woman who is a friend of the fourth confirmed swine flu patient in Taiwan and who had contact with the victim, said spokesman Shih Wen-yi at the Central Epidemics Command Center (CECC).

With the appearance of a domestic infection for the first time, the outbreak warning against Type A (H1N1) influenza was upgraded to the third level, suggesting that imported cases could pose the threat of causing a second wave of infections in the community.

Shih said the upgrade to yellow alert will help raise public awareness for precautions, but actual anti-epidemic and preventive measures will remain about the same.

He said there is no need to panic because the situation has so far not developed into the “community outbreak” yet.

full story