Swine flu cases still popping up - tips to stay healthy

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On August 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the swine flu pandemic is no more. But individuals can still limit exposure to this virus as well as other ones by being aware of the risks.

WHO's Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said in an opening statement of a virtual press conference, "The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert. We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course.

"This time around, we have been aided by pure good luck. The virus did not mutate during the pandemic to a more lethal form. Widespread resistance to oseltamivir did not develop. The vaccine proved to be a good match with circulating viruses and showed an excellent safety profile," continued Chan.

Although the pandemic is over, "localized outbreaks of different magnitude may show significant levels of H1N1 transmission. This is the situation we are observing right now in New Zealand, and may see elsewhere."

And, "based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behaviour of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come."

Here is a look at swine flu worldwide according FluNet via WHO's Global Health Observatory's Map Gallery: http://gamapserver.who.int/maplibrary/ and the pandemic status as of August 1: http://gamapserver.who.int/mapLibrary/Files/Maps/GlobalSubnationalMasterGradcolour_20100801_weekly.png

Take a look at these tips to keep you healthy compliments of the South-East Asia regional office of WHO: http://www.searo.who.int/en/Section10/Section2562.htm

In other global health vaccine news, US researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have created a vaccine to prevent dengue fever spread by mosquitoes and human clinical trials are underway at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, according to a NIAID announcement on August 9. For more information, go to: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01072786?term=dengue&state1=NA%3AUS%3AMD&rank=11 and http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/denguefever/pages/default.aspx

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