December 20, 2009

WHO: Global Swine Flu Update

The amount of global swine flu deaths surged past the 10,000 mark just eight months after the virus was unearthed in April, the World Health Organization announced Friday, although reported cases are lessening.

Early numbers implied that the mortality rate had not gone downhill as the flu virus plowed through the northern hemisphere.

"As of December 13, 2009, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 10,582 deaths," the WHO said.

In information publicized a week ago, the death toll had only reached 9,596.

While the A(H1N1) virus is still "active and geographically widespread," the disease has hit a peak or is declining in several areas, the UN health agency noted.

Initial information from North America signified that the mortality rate was comparable to the one found in South America earlier in 2009.

"This would indicate that the overall severity of the pandemic has not changed," the WHO said.

10 western and northern European nations are seeing a decline in the viruses activity, except for Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Montenegro and Switzerland.

The WHO added that flu communication is falling in east Asia, including Japan, northern and southern China, Taiwan and Mongolia


On the Net: