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article imageWHO: H1N1 swine flu pandemic will stick around for another year

By Michael Krebs     Dec 29, 2009 in Health
The World Health Organization warned government health authorities to remain vigilant on the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, saying the virus could mutate before vaccines can help it dissipate.
The World Health Organization is confident that the H1N1 swine flu pandemic will be under control in a year's time - however, WHO officials warned global governments to remain vigilant for any mutations in the troublesome bug.
The warning was given with a wary eye on the considerably more dangerous H5N1 virus - commonly referred to as bird flu. WHO officials remain concerned over the bird flu's recurring appearances in China and India in domestic and wild avian species.
"It is still premature and too early for us to say we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide. It would be prudent and appropriate ... to continue to monitor the evolution of this pandemic for the next six to 12 months," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said at a news conference.
Last week, the World Health Organization attributed nearly 12,000 deaths worldwide to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
While Chan admitted the world was not prepared for a more brutal influenza pandemic of the kind associated with the H5N1 bird flu, she sought to retain a positive position on the current H1N1 challenge.
"The fact that the long overdue influenza pandemic is so moderate in its impact is probably the best health news of the decade," Chan said.
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