H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
Aug. 10, 2010: The World Health Organization today announced:
The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course." Experts expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years.
Globally, the levels and patterns of H1N1 transmission now being seen differ significantly from what was observed during the pandemic. Out-of-season outbreaks are no longer being reported in either the northern or southern hemisphere. Influenza outbreaks, including those primarily caused by the H1N1 virus, show an intensity similar to that seen during seasonal epidemics.
Based on available evidence and experience from past pandemics, it is likely that the virus will continue to cause serious disease in younger age groups, at least in the immediate post-pandemic period. Groups identified during the pandemic as at higher risk of severe or fatal illness will probably remain at heightened risk, though hopefully the number of such cases will diminish.
WHO recommends that surveillance during the post-pandemic period include maintaining routine surveillance, including for influenza-like illness and cases of severe acute respiratory infections. Vaccination remains important as a means of reducing the morbidity and mortality caused by influenza viruses. WHO strongly recommends vaccination of high-risk individuals.
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