WHO Maintains Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Alert

Despite most intense H1N1 activity subsiding, peak of southern hemisphere influenza season in July
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- The World Health Organization has decided to maintain an H1N1 flu pandemic alert based on the recommendation of 15 international influenza experts, as new cases of H1N1 are expected in the short-term during the flu season in the southern hemisphere.

While the period of most intense H1N1 pandemic activity seems to have passed for most of the world, tropical areas of the Caribbean and South Asia are currently the most active areas for the H1N1 pandemic, and, during last July, those areas experienced their most severe H1N1 activity.

According to WHO data, H1N1 has caused more than 18,138 deaths, affecting more than 214 countries and territories since April 2009. The WHO will reassess the situation by mid-July 2010, when more comprehensive information on the influenza season in the southern hemisphere will be available.

"The Global Influenza Surveillance Network continues monitoring the global circulation of influenza viruses, including pandemic, seasonal and other influenza viruses infecting, or with the potential to infect, humans including seasonal influenza," according to the June 4 WHO weekly update.

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