WHO declares swine flu pandemic is officially over
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 15:20
Director-General Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the swine flu pandemic is now officially over.
Speaking to reporters from Hong-Kong, she confirmed that the pandemic had "largely run its course" and the world is no longer in phase six -- the highest influenza alert level.
According to the WHO, the virus has now entered the "post-pandemic" phase, meaning disease activity around the world has returned to levels usually seen for seasonal influenza, she said.
Despite the fact that the pandemic has been downgraded, however, Chan cautioned that the virus could continue to threaten younger age groups, and pregnant women, who are at higher risk of infection.
She warned that even though hospitalizations and deaths have dropped sharply, countries should still keep a watchful eye for unusual patterns of infection and mutations that might render existing vaccines and antiviral drugs ineffective.
For more information on swine flu (H1N1), click here.