January 01, 2010

12,220 worldwide died from swine flu says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO), yesterday, estimated that swine flu had claimed at least 12,220 deaths worldwide. However the premier health body also said that the H1N1 pandemic seemed to be on the decline.

This could be deduced by the fact that this total death toll figure, as on December 27, was up by only 700 deaths since last week. In contrast, the week before that it had gone up by as much as 1500 deaths.

The WHO report listed places in central and eastern Europe as the areas with the highest current rate of current transmission, with the focal points over few weeks being in Georgia, Montenegro and Ukraine.

It also said that respiratory infections, including seasonal flu, ranged strong in parts of eastern and southern Europe including Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia's Urals region.

The widespread concern surrounding H1N1 notwithstanding, WHO’s data estimates seasonal flu itself to claims casualties in the range of 250,000 to 300,000 globally, each year.

The report also said that H1N1 was while the rate of infection remained widespread in western Europe, overall its activity seemed to be peaking.

Further it said that, again, while transmission was widespread in the US, Canada and Mexico, overall it had substantially declined in North, as well as in South and Central America, and in the Caribbean. Also, the infection seemed to be going down in east Asia, including in China, Japan and Taiwan.

Director-General of the WHO, Margaret Chan, while speaking in Geneva, emphasized that the H1N1 pandemic – which was mainly being addressed through extensive vaccination programs – could take up to 2011 to be completely conquered.

Link: Original Article

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