The number of swine flu deaths showed a sharp jump compared to a week ago, but the World Health Organisation said Friday that the epidemic may have peaked in parts of the northern hemisphere.

The number of deaths reported to the WHO was up 1,000 from a week ago, reaching at least 7,826 worldwide since the A(H1N1) virus was first uncovered in April, fresh data showed.

The number of deaths reported to the UN health agency showed the biggest rise in the Americas, where 5,360 deaths have now been recorded compared to 4,806 a week ago.

But Europe also posted a substantial increase percentage-wise with at least 650 fatalities now reported, representing a surge of 300 deaths or 85 percent from data posted a week ago.

The WHO said influenza activity appears to have peaked across North America, although in Canada, the number of hospitalisations and deaths is increasing.

In European countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, Ukraine and Iceland, influenza activity also appears to have reached a peak, added the WHO.