News / Health

WHO Says H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic Not Over

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan say the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic is not as serious as anticipated.  But, she says this is no time to relax, as the Pandemic is not over.  Chan spoke at the opening of WHO's weeklong Executive Board meeting in Geneva.

World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan says when H1N1 appeared her agency was expecting an event similar the 1918 pandemic, which killed 50 million people.  

Instead she says what actually happened is probably closer to the much milder 1957 or 1968 pandemics.

"For me, the best health news of the previous decade is the fact that the long overdue influenza pandemic has been so moderate in its impact ...  The virus did not mutate to a more virulent form. ...  The vaccine proved safe and a close match with circulating virus.  Things could have gone wrong in any of these areas," she said.  

Despite the good news, the World Health Organization, has found itself on the defensive.  A number of governments have accused the health agency of exaggerating the severity of Swine Flu and of being in the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry.

But Dr. Chan says it is always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with public health issues.  

She says it is better to have a moderate pandemic with a large supply of vaccines, rather than a severe pandemic with inadequate supplies of vaccine.

"In some countries in the northern hemisphere with good surveillance systems, the pandemic appears to be easing.  The worst may be over," she said.  "But, it would be unwise for anybody to reach firm conclusions before April, when the normal influenza season usually ends.  There is still quite a lot of winter left," she added.  

Chan notes no one can predict what will happen later in the year when the southern hemisphere enters its influenza season and the virus spreads more rapidly throughout the population.

She says countries must remain vigilant and people who have decided not to get vaccinated against H1N1 should rethink this decision.  She says H1N1 may be moderate, but it still kills.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid