France remains the only western European nation where swine flu is rising as the pandemic sweeps eastwards across the northern hemisphere, the World Health Organisation said Friday.

The A(H1N1) virus has passed its peak in North America, but is continuing to increase in parts of central and southeastern Europe as well as in south and east Asia, the WHO said in its weekly update.

"With the exception of France, where influenza like activity continues to increase, influenza like activity has peaked or passed its peak in much of western Europe," it added.

The global swine flu death toll grew by 828 in a week to 9,596, slowing for the second consecutive week, WHO data showed.