February 11th, 2010
04:23 PM ET

H1N1 is not gone – yet

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical Managing Editor

The World Health Organization announced Thursday that although the number of H1N1 flu cases around the world is declining, the virus has not disappeared yet.

Dr Keiji Fukuda, the special adviser to the WHO's director-general on pandemic influenza, said the number of cases overall is declining, but some regions are still dealing with this flu, noting that the highest levels of activity are in Northern Africa, Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia. He also said the virus has made its way to Western Africa, specifically Senegal, which is reporting 14 cases.

"The virus has not disappeared and is continuing to cause disease and deaths in many parts of the world," Fukuda said. He pointed out that there have been more than 15,000 laboratory-confirmed deaths worldwide so far and that the true toll of this disease won’t be known for another year or two.

So the WHO will not say the pandemic is over, but at the end of this month a committee of scientists will meet to determine whether we've entered into a transitional period, which indicates that the end of this specific flu outbreak is near.

It's interesting to note that while some countries are talking about having too much H1N1 vaccine, 95 countries are still interested in getting the vaccine, according to the WHO.

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soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. John C

    There are huge numbers of people still walking around with H1N1. Chronic slightly productive cough and runny nose are the typical signs, but a vague abdominal discomfort (typically for a few days) is another. Recurrent abnormal headaches and/or clammy skin or mild fever are signs of an acute recurrence. Typically, these all respond to Tamiflu quickly.

    February 13, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. John Bleau

    Here's my prediction: when the CDC's mortality reports come out, deaths from the flu and pneumonia will not be significantly higher this year than other years. H1N1 smells like a hype job to me.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Meleah

    Please be aware of side effects of any flu vaccine, including swine flu vaccine (injection or spray). There have been a few cases of Guillian-Barret Syndrome in NC occurring soon after the swine flu vaccine. This is a very serious disease that attacks the spine and peripheral nervous system, resulting in paralysis and difficulty breathing. Recovery will take 3 months to 1 year or longer. It will require blood plasma transplants and a lot of physical therapy. According to the CDC, this reaction is very rare (1-2 in 100,000). However, after seeing this happen to my friend and spreading the word, I have heard of other cases. It would be interesting to see others' comments on whether they know someone who has had this. I understand it can happen after sickness as well. My friend had not been sick at all. It seems to be something that is under-reported. Please research this before you consider getting the swine flu vaccine.

    February 15, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ed N

    Yep. Just another over-hyped non-emergency to divert $billions to drug companies..for what?
    What did all this panic and mayhem get us?
    An over-priced vaccine that they can't seem to give away.
    Notice how these H1N1 headlines seem to pop up every few weeks.
    The CDC and company needs try to justify all their decisions. H1N1 is trying to fade away but the damn media won't let it !

    I said it from the start. This "epidemic" was going to take it's natural course (the way polio did, by the way. Look up the governments own records and you'll see polio deaths were declining BEFORE the vaccine.)

    So in other words folks, when we let nature runs its course viruses come and go regardless of what the mighty industry thinks it's affecting.

    February 15, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Darwin Henry

    I picked up H1N1 in Mexico last May, since then I have had a runny nose and slightly productive cough, can a virus like this last that long?

    February 15, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cee

    I have a job as a medical transcriptionist, ever since the hype of the Swine flu/H1N1 last year, I was expecting to have to transcribe at least a few medical reports of patients with the H1N1 virus, but to date... and working with as many as 4 different hospitals over the country (thanks to telecommuting), I can say that I have transcribed exactly 2 reports for this virus..1 last year around Sept, and one in early January.. nothing since...

    If this is such a bad flu, and spreading like wildfire, to hear the news tell it... why am not not swamped with medical reports to this effect?

    I know why... we are like sheep...so molded and manipulated by the mighty media... wow...

    February 15, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. S

    As someone who has had H1N1 and became quite ill, I find the minimization of the illness by the posters to be striking. Had I not suffered the illness, I'd be first in line for the vaccine . . . and I'm thankful that my elderly parents have been inoculated.

    February 16, 2010 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Kimiko Christoforou

    At least a hundred persons in our city have been infected with the H1N1 virus. I was very scared to get infected with this disease during the pandemic,,.

    May 3, 2010 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. David

    How come you whites arent front paging the outbreak of H1N1 in The U.K?

    February 7, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.