Posted on

WHO: H1N1 pandemic over

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Social Share

UNITED NATIONS – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an end to the H1N1 pandemic that briefly created a global scare.“We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters.     The announcement from the head of the United Nations health agency follows an assessment by its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, which met earlier in the day, as well as reports from several countries that are now experiencing influenza.     It comes a little more than a year after the WHO first declared the start of the H1N1 pandemic, which has also been referred to as swine flu.  The virus spread with unprecedented speed, reaching 120 countries and territories in around eight weeks, according to the global health agency, which noted that cases were eventually reported in almost every country.  Caribbean countries were not spared during the peak of the pandemic, as residents stocked up on hand sanitisers and displayed a heightened sense of vigilance when it came to their personal hygiene. Confirmed cases were reported in countries throughout the region from Belize and as far south as Suriname.  Dr Chan said that globally the levels and patterns of H1N1 transmission now being seen differed significantly from what was observed during the pandemic. Out-of-season outbreaks are no longer being reported in either the northern or southern hemisphere.     “Influenza outbreaks, including those primarily caused by the H1N1 virus, show an intensity similar to that seen during seasonal epidemics,” she noted.   Also, during the pandemic, the H1N1 virus crowded out other influenza viruses to become the dominant virus. (CMC)