The World Health Organisation confirmed on Friday that swine flu has peaked in North America and was declining, in its latest weekly data on the pandemic.
However, in both Canada and the United States, the virus remains "active and geographically widespread," while for the past eight weeks hospitalisation and death rates exceeded those seen in a normal flu season, the WHO added.
AdvertisementA(H1N1) influenza was reaching a peak of intensity in much of western Europe, as the disease progressed eastwards into central Europe and through parts of Asia, the WHO added in its pandemic update.
"Disease activity has peaked and is declining in North America and has either recently peaked or is currently peaking in much of western and northern Europe," it said.
"In the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, the early arriving winter influenza season continues to intensify across central Europe and in parts of central, eastern, and southern Asia."
The UN health agency nonetheless also reported signs of a levelling off of flu activity in eastern European countries that have been hit hard recently, such as Ukraine and Belarus.
As swine flu reached into 207 countries, the global death toll since the A(H1N1) influenza virus was uncovered in April reached 8,768 -- an increase of 942, slightly less than the sharp jump recorded the previous week.
The fastest growth in the death toll was recorded in the WHO's European region, which stretches from Ireland to the Pacific coast of Russia, including former Soviet states in Central Asia and Turkey.
Some 918 people have died of flu there since the outbreak was recorded, a 41 percent increase in the week to November 29, but still half the surge recorded a week earlier.
In the hardest hit region, North and South America, the toll grew by just under 10 percent to 5,878.
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