WHO: Panel may end H1N1 alert
GENEVA – The World Health Organisation said yesterday an expert panel might recommend that the global body declare the swine flu pandemic officially over.
WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said the two most likely outcomes of the emergency committee’s deliberations are leaving the pandemic alert at its current Phase 6 level – the highest – or moving to the “post-pandemic” stage.
He said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan would have the final say on declaring the pandemic passed. Hartl told reporters in Geneva that H1N1 would likely remain the dominant flu strain “for quite a while” and vulnerable groups should continue to be vaccinated.
WHO last week confirmed 18 114 deaths from swine flu worldwide since the start of the outbreak in April 2009. (AP)