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WHO says swine flu pandemic is over

Geneva: The World Health Organisation
declared the swine flu pandemic officially over today, months
after many national authorities started cancelling vaccine
orders and shutting down hot lines as the disease ebbed from
the headlines.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the
organisation`s emergency committee of top flu experts advised
her that the pandemic had "largely run its course" and the
world is no longer in phase six. the highest influenza alert
level.

"I fully agree with the committee`s advice," Chan told
reporters in a telephone briefing from her native Hong Kong.

The virus has now entered the "post-pandemic" phase,
meaning disease activity around the world has returned to
levels usually seen for seasonal influenza, she said.

But Chan cautioned against complacency, saying that even
though hospitalisations and deaths have dropped sharply,
countries should still keep a watchful eye for unusual
patterns of infection and mutations that might render existing
vaccines and antiviral drugs ineffective.

"It is likely that the virus will continue to cause
serious disease in younger age groups," she said, urging
high-risk groups such as pregnant women to continue seeking
vaccination.

Four succumb to swine flu in Delhi

Four persons died due to swine
flu, taking the toll of those who succumbed to the deadly H1N1
virus to 13 this year.

"Four deaths due to swine flu virus have been reported
from different hospitals here in last 24 hours. Only one of
the deceased is from Delhi," a health ministry official said.

Eleven others have tested positive for the dreaded virus,
taking the total number of cases of H1N1 influenza in the city
to 208.

"One death was reported yesterday at the Escorts hospital
too but if it was a case of H1N1 virus or not is yet to be
ascertained," he said.

"We fear the number of cases of swine flu may increase
due to high humidity here. High-risk patients like children
and pregnant women need to be extra careful," he said.

-PTI

From Zee News

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