Nearly 5,000 people have died from swine flu infections since the A(H1N1) virus was uncovered in April, the World Health Organisation said Friday.

The latest death toll of at least 4,999 marked an increase of about 265 over the 4,735 deaths reported to the WHO a week ago.

Most of the fatal cases -- 3,539 -- have been recorded in North and South America, the UN health agency said in its latest update on the flu pandemic.

Iceland, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago reported their first fatal cases over the past week.

Mongolia, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe also recorded influenza cases for the first time, as the pandemic continued to spread.

However, A(H1N1) influenza was declining in tropical areas of the world, with the exception of Cuba and Colombia.

There was also no significant pandemic-related activity over the past week in temperate areas of the southern hemisphere, which are now entering summer, the WHO said.

Meanwhile respiratory disease activity continues to spread and increase in intensity in the northern hemisphere, mainly in North America.

pac/hmn

 

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