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WHO decided to maintain the alert for the influenza pandemic

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  • WHO decided to maintain the alert for the influenza pandemic

    Spanish to English translation

    WHO decided to maintain the alert for the influenza pandemic

    (The Foto: El Mundo)
    Updated Thursday 06/03/2010 12:29 (CET)
    GENEVA .- The Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced its decision to keep warning of a pandemic of influenza A, one year after its entry into force and the health measures in exceptional worldwide to control their spread.

    Although virus levels have fallen in most countries, the international body believes that could lead to new waves for which the states must be prepared. For now, the alert is maintained and, as announced by the Director General of WHO Margaret Chan, the Emergency Committee will reconvene in mid-July to reassess the situation.

    The Chan's decision today came after the meeting that the Emergency Committee held last June 1 by teleconference. According to the recommendations of the Committee, "from a global perspective, although it continues to the pandemic, the period of high activity seems to have happened in many parts of the world." However, added that "remains critical that the countries should remain vigilant about the pandemic."

    "H1N1 is expected to continue to be the main influenza virus for some time," said Gregory Hartl, WHO spokesman.

    Therefore, and after considering the recommendations of scientists, Chan has decided not to lower the alert and to convene a further meeting of the Emergency Committee by mid-July, "when information is available on the winter flu season in the Southern Hemisphere" .

    First pandemic of the XXI century
    The H1N1 virus was discovered in April 2009 in the United States and was declared on 11 June of that year as the first pandemic of the twenty-first century due to its rapid geographic spread and the fears generated by an unknown virus treated with opportunities to mutate.

    It also established that the risk groups were not the usual (old), but younger age groups (including health), pregnant women and people with chronic health problems.

    However, as the months passed, confirming that, overall, the virus had moderate effects and that their mortality rate was even lower than the seasonal flu.

    The H1N1 virus has resulted in a little over thirteen months some 18,000 deaths confirmed by laboratory tests, against the 500,000 annual deaths attributed to seasonal influenza.

    At present, the virus is more active in some parts of the Caribbean and Southeast Asia and in parts of Chile.