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WHO declares Swine flu pandemic over

at 17:06 - 10th, August 2010
Just when you thought you wouldn't hear anything about it again WHO brings it back.

From the Montreal Gazette
The World Health Organization has declared an end to the swine flu pandemic.

The planet is no longer in Phase Six of pandemic epidemic alert, World Health Organization officials said Tuesday morning following a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee meeting in Hong Kong.

WHO director-general Margaret Chan said the new H1N1 virus "has largely run its course."

"As we enter the post-pandemic period this does not mean H1N1 has gone away," she said.

Based on experience with past pandemics, the H1N1 human swine flu virus will behave like garden-variety flu, and will continue to circulate for some years to come, Chan said.

Canada and other countries began ratcheting down their H1N1 efforts in January but WHO held back on downgrading H1N1 until now.

Chan said WHO had a duty to monitor the global situation.

"All in all, now we are seeing clear signals and evidence pointing to the fact that the world . . . is now transitioning out of the pandemic into the post-pandemic period.

"There is no longer a dominance of the H1N1 virus that we saw last year."

Chan said the pandemic turned out to be far less than what was feared a little over a year ago. "This time around we have been aided by pure good luck," she said. "The virus did not mutate during the pandemic to a more lethal form. Widespread resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) did not develop and the vaccine proved to be a good match with circulating viruses and showed an excellent safety profile."

The first cases of human swine flu were reported in Canada on April 26, 2009. Since then 426 H1N1 deaths have been reported in Canada, and nearly 9,000 hospitalizations.

The fall wave of the first flu pandemic in 41 years began in the first week of September, peaked in early November and tapered off by late January.

WHO urged continued vigilance during the post-pandemic period.

• Alex


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Schu Schu
News comment 1 | User comment 370 | 12:38 - 11th, Aug 2010

Never got my flu shot. Never cared for the hype. My mom and dad called me and were angry at me for not getting the shot. Whatever. I used to chew pennies when I was little and eat dirt. If that didn't kill me...

Now they got a new thing to scare the world with: A gene that allows any bacteria to become a drug resistant superbug from India spread via people who went there for plastic surgery. Just don't be a medical tourist and you won't get it.

Christophe Christophe
News comment 2 | User comment 766 | 13:18 - 11th, Aug 2010

for me the pandemic was over before it began

its an over-glorified simple flu

the only people that died from it were already unhealthy

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