The number of swine flu deaths has grown by more than 370 over a week to pass 6,000, as the pandemic spread into more than 199 countries and territories, World Health Organisation data showed.

The A(H1N1) pandemic is currently being fuelled by "intense and persistent" transmission in North America and an "unusually early" start to winter flu season in Europe as well as in central and western Asia, a WHO statement said.

The death toll recorded on November 1 reached at least 6,071, it added.

The Americas region accounts for nearly three quarters of the global toll with 4,399 deaths, an increase of 224 in a week.

The proportion of recorded visits to doctors in North America due to influenza-like illness exceeded levels seen over the past six flu seasons, according to the UN health agency.

Just 42 percent of samples tested there were positive for influenza, but all of them were for the pandemic A(H1N1) strain.

The WHO also highlighted signs of "increasing and active transmission" of pandemic influenza virus across Northern and Eastern Europe, including Ukraine and Belarus, as well as in eastern Russia.

The pandemic is also gaining intensity in Mongolia, Oman, Afghanistan and Japan, especially on the northern island.

However, it is waning in tropical areas of Central and South America, as well as parts of south and southeast Asia.