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World Health Organization Declares H1N1 Pandemic Over

August 10, 2010

Hong Kong - The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, declared that the H1N1 pandemic is now officially over. Speaking from Hong Kong stated: "We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course."

The pandemic, which began in the spring of 2009, caused illness around the world and resulted in more than 18,500 laboratory-confirmed deaths. The virus was unusual in causing severe disease in some pregnant women and young adults.

The decision by WHO reflects recently-collected data on the H1N1 influenza virus and patterns of the pandemic, particularly from countries in the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season has begun.

Chan explained that while the new H1N1 is still present in communities around the world and continues to cause disease, it now functions like other flu strains, no longer causing the majority of flu cases nor causing summer outbreaks. She said experts expect the virus to continue circulating as an annual strain, along with other influenza viruses. She asked countries to monitor for any unusual behavior by the virus.

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