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WHO: Panel may end H1N1 alert


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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)