Medindia
Advertisement

Expecting Fresh Outbreak WHO Keeps Swine Flu Alert Active

by VR Sreeraman on June 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM
Font : A-A+

 Expecting Fresh Outbreak WHO Keeps Swine Flu Alert Active

World Health Organisation chief Margaret Chan on Thursday decided to maintain a pandemic alert nearly a year after she placed the world on maximum readiness for the new swine flu virus.

The WHO is continuing the alert following advice from a panel of scientists that although the outbreak has declined, fresh cases of A(H1N1) influenza are expected in coming weeks mainly during the southern hemisphere's flu season.

Advertisement


"Committee members stressed that it remains critical for countries to continue to maintain vigilance concerning the pandemic," the agency said in a statement.

The announcement followed a teleconference on Tuesday of the committee, comprising 15 scientists headed by Australian infectious diseases expert John Mackenzie.
Advertisement

"Following the advice of the Emergency Committee, the Director-General determined that while the period of most intense pandemic activity has passed, pandemic disease is expected to continue to occur," the WHO said.

It added that the situation will be reassessed by mid July 2010, when full information on the winter influenza season in the south will be available.

Tropical areas of the Caribbean and South Asia are currently the most active areas for the pandemic, with a "relatively low level of resurgence of cases".

However, last year those areas experienced their most intense bouts of swine flu in July, the WHO underlined.

In temperate areas of the southern hemisphere, increases in general influenza activity are within common seasonal epidemic levels, while in West Africa the pandemic flu has largely subsided after a peak in February and March, it added.

A(H1N1) influenza has killed more than 18,114 people and affected some 214 countries and territories since the virus emerged in Mexico and the United States in April 2009, according to WHO data.

The new virus spread swiftly worldwide despite emergency containment, prompting the UN health agency to scale up its alerts and declare a pandemic on June 11, 2009.

Fears about the severity of swine flu and a harmful mutation sparked a rush for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of specially-developed vaccines and a flurry of public health precautions.

But those concerns fizzled out in the latter stages of 2009, especially in the northern hemisphere.

Regular seasonal influenza viruses now incorporate protection against A(H1N1) swine flu and the WHO insists on the merits of flu jabs.

"Pandemic or no pandemic, H1N1 will still exist. If there is no pandemic it means that H1N1 is behaving like a seasonal influenza virus but it is still there," spokesman Gregory Haertl said.

"Therefore vaccination against H1N1 is still important," he added, especially for pregnant women, the young and those weakened by other ailments.

The WHO has responded to criticism of the international alert by setting up an independent committee of experts this year to review the handling of the swine flu pandemic.

The review panel is due to report its findings by the beginning of next year.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
World Alzheimer's Day 2021 - 'Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
Stroop Effect
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Swine Flu Health Risks of Eating Pork 

Recommended Reading
Swine Flu
Swine flu, a type of influenza caused by a new strain of the H1N1 Type A influenza virus has ......
Swine Flu Risk Calculator
Find out the risks for contracting swine flu and take the necessary precautionary steps. Swine flu ....
Swine Flu Or Pig Flu Facts
Is the world in the grip of its first influenza pandemic in forty years? It definitely seems so! ......
Quiz on Flu
Influenza (or rather, the flu) is a cold weather infectious condition that affects the young and ....
Health Risks of Eating Pork
Pork is one of the most popular and widely consumed of all red meats, but how healthy is it? Find ou...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use