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WHO: Swine Flu Spread Has Not Peaked

The World Health Organization says the global spread of H1N1 Flu has not peaked. A WHO emergency committee, which met to review the latest evidence, concludes countries should continue their control actions.

The WHO emergency committee notes different parts of the world have different levels of flu activity. It says the spread of H1N1 Flu is clearly declining in many parts of the world.

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For example, special adviser to the WHO Director-General on Pandemic Influenza Keiji Fukuda says infection rates are low in North America, Western Europe and other parts of the world.

"But, we have also noted that there has been some ongoing activity going on in other parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, parts of Central Asia and so on. In the past few weeks, we have reviewed the situation where we are seeing the first reports of community activity occurring in countries such as Senegal and Mauritania," he said.

The southern hemisphere will soon enter its winter months. Dr. Fukuda says the emergency committee considers this a cause of concern because flu transmission increases during this period. "They had some concern that any action should not undermine any of the control actions being taken place by different countries-so nothing that the emergency committee should advise on should really harm the efforts of countries to try to deal with this influenza activity," he said.

Dr. Fukuda says the committee concludes it is too early to consider the spread of H1N1 flu is in a post-peak period in many countries. He says the committee plans to meet again in the next few weeks to review the situation at that time.

The World Health Organization reports it has more than 16,200 lab confirmed deaths from H1N1 in 212 countries. It says H1N1 is a relatively mild flu compared to others that have occurred in the past century.

Dr. Fukuda warns against complacency, he says pregnant women and young people are most at risk from the disease. He says more than 300 million people around the world have received the safe and highly effective H1N1 vaccine.