Global swine flu deaths exceed 11,500: WHO

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More than 11,500 people have died from swine flu worldwide since the pandemic strain was uncovered in April, World Health Organisation data showed Wednesday.

The WHO said overall A(H1N1) influenza "activity has recently peaked in much of the (northern) hemisphere," including North America and western Europe, where the disease had surged in recent months with the onset of the colder season.

"As of 20 December 2009, worldwide more than 208 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 11,516 deaths," the WHO said in its weekly update.

"There continues to be increases in influenza activity in later affected areas of central and eastern Europe, and in parts of west, central, and south Asia," it added.