Phil Hay: 202-473-1796
David Theis: 202-458-8626
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2009—The World Bank today announced that a Bank staff member in Washington DC on April 29 was preliminarily diagnosed with the Swine Flu.
The infection is believed to have resulted from exposure while on business travel in Mexico between April 14-18, before Mexican health authorities and the WHO recognized and announced the epidemic. The final diagnosis has to be confirmed by a second test performed by the Center for Disease Control, a process which is underway.
Fortunately, the staff member sought treatment from his physician upon his return from travel and has made a full and rapid recovery. World Bank management and the Bank's Health Services department staff are in contact with the individual and will continue to monitor the situation.
Because the individual contracted the virus before we knew about the epidemic, he was in the office for part of the day on Monday, April 20. As a precautionary measure, Bank management is directly contacting colleagues who were in close contact with the staff member, and we have asked them to work from home until we get further guidance from the D.C. Department of Health authorities on next steps – including being tested for the virus.
We are also informing Mexico office staff who may have been in contact with the staffer to determine whether testing is warranted.
If identified early, the Swine Flu is a very treatable virus and responds well to medication.
The World Bank announced on April 26 that the Bank will support Mexico’s efforts to fight the spread of the Swine Flu virus with more than $205 million in fast disbursing funds. The World Bank will also assist Mexico in assessing the economic impact of the crisis and helping it to devise counter-measures to ensure that the effects of the outbreak are kept in check. The announcement can be found at: http://go.worldbank.org/X9KQMY6MI0