WHO Chief Says Swine Flu Still A Pandemic

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GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization says swine flu is still a pandemic even though the period of most intense activity appears to have passed.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says a decision on whether to declare the global epidemic of H1N1 over will be revisited in mid-July.

Chan's announcement Thursday came two days after a virtual meeting of international flu experts who advise her on setting the global body's pandemic alert level.

The alert level is currently at phase 6 – the highest – but could be moved to the "post-peak" or "post-pandemic" stage as circulation of the virus continues to decline.

WHO last week confirmed 18,114 deaths from swine flu worldwide since the start of the outbreak in April 2009.

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