June 3rd, 2010
12:27 PM ET

WHO: H1N1 not gone yet

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

You may have forgotten about the virus formerly known as swine flu, but it hasn't gone away, according to the World Health Organization.

The agency is continuing its pandemic alert for 2009 H1N1 influenza, WHO chief Margaret Chan announced Thursday in a statement. There are still world regions, particularly in tropical regions such as the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, that have relatively low level of resurgence of cases.

But "the period of most intense pandemic activity appears likely to have passed for many parts of the world," the statement said.

In July, a WHO committee will meet again to reassess the situation.

Read the full statement from the World Health Organization.

Here's a retrospective on the H1N1 flu on its one-year anniversary

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. cordell walker

    nice. looks like the dumb crowd got taken for a ride again. pharma companies started shouting pandemic!! and made a killing selling that vaccine in bulk to governments without the drag and responsibilities tied to retail. now, looks like someone else is trying to offload, so they're looking for a bigger tool in the developing world, hoping that at least some fraction can be resold.
    btw. don't forget to take your cholesterol pill. it's the latest must have.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Linda

    I lost my Mother to this in May 2009, mainly because "WHO" or our government down played it to much.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sherilynne

    "Down played it" ? It was all over the news. The government was shouting from the rooftops to grab your H1N1 shots. I'm sorry for your loss I truly am, but don't blame the government or other organizations for your mother's death. There was plenty of warning.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Josh

    I am a virologist who works on flu vaccines, but who has no financial interest in the vaccine. Cordell, you don't understand the situation, and it was very poorly described by this CNN article. The "swine flu", or 2009 H1N1, has replaced the previously circulating H1N1 strain. Last year, you needed a separate vaccination to be protected against 2009 H1N1/swine flu because the strain included in the standard vaccine was too different. Without the extra vaccine, you were at risk for severe disease. This year, the H1 component of the standard vaccine will protect against what was previously known as "swine flu". See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ for info on the new composition. The vast majority of of cases last year were due to 2009 H1N1/swine flu. It is no longer considered a pandemic because most of the population has now developed immunity to the virus, and is therefore at reduced risk for severe disease. This is not the case for isolated regions that did not receive the vaccine and were not exposed to the 2009 virus.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kelly

    They warned us about this last fall. Did folks just not listen to information presented. My kids had it and everything else that went with it as a result all winter long. They got it from school long before the vaccine was available. Had a blast (NOT) and so did the school that started requiring doctor's excuses because they missed so much school. It was simple shut down school for two weeks but nogreed won out and my kids paid the price. Listen folks...open your ears.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Robin

    My 6 year old son received the H1N1 vaccine from his school in October 2009. Memorial Day of this year he was diagnosed with H1N1. Obviously the vaccine isn't working. Isn't that scary.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. corporate propaganda

    the comments about the mom dying and the virologist who gives the link to the gov. website are obviously purposley put there to sway sheepish folk into fearful beliefs. the notion that you "need" a vaccine in order to "protect" yourself has been an effective tool of brainwashing the public, but now it is rather useless given the sprawl of information previously not available to the masses

    June 3, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dennis

    I love Josh's "I'm a virologist who works on flu vaccines, but who has no financial interest in the vaccine," EXCEPT YOUR JOB!
    Get over it, already. I spoke with three doctors about the vaccine when all the hype was going on, and all three told me it was a hoax to sell off soon-to-be-expiring Tamaflu. I'll believe my doctor and doctor-friends before any pharmaceutical company (or employee, mr. virologist).

    June 3, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. apnewmexico

    Robin that doesn't mean the "vaccine isn't working." It doesn't confer lifelong immunity. Antibodies to the inactivated vaccination decline in the months following vaccination which leads to waning immunity, but protection is still thought to last about a year. Hopefully your son got a much milder case and was helped by having had the vaccine. I hope he is well now!

    June 3, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Chel

    I am an Infection Control nurse, and the reailty was true that as the flu swept through our community this year. There were several who lost their lives and many more who were extremely ill. The vaccine did work it helped to save many lives, and people need to understand how vaccines work before giving too many opinions. Robin, did your 6 y/o son get two vaccines, becasue children his age needed two vaccines for full immunity. If he did not get the second vaccine then he was only partially vacccinated and therefore still vunerable to the virus. Even with partial vaccine, he will most likely experience mild symptoms so guess what: THE VACCINE DID WORK!

    June 3, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Leslie

    With all due respect to the virologist, I am a healthcare professional and NONE of the Doctors in our clinic took the H1N1 vaccine. Why? After reading all the literature they didn't believe the WHO, FDA or "Big Pharm" companies...... Hmmm, if the doctor won't take it, neither will I.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mark5

    Looks like the vaccination program worked. Of course there will be those who believe there never was a problem but since most of us got the vaccine, this likley stopped the pandemic from happening.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. cpope

    Robin, read Josh's post...... 2 above yours – viruses do morph into a different form and most were expecting some sort of change in the virus. So to make a blanket statement such as you did is scary.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sandy

    Robin, just curious. Which type of vaccine did your son receive? Injection or nasal mist?

    June 3, 2010 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Eric

    You people are funny. First, H1N1 isn't as much of an issue *because* of the super swift response and the dissemination of vaccines. So to say "See, we didn't need no vaccine" is backwards thinking. *Because* so many people got vaccinated, the virus isn't spreading, etc. It's like how Polio is mostly disappeared because people get vaccinated. The other point here is for Robin. I'm truly sorry that your son got sick, but again you need to understand that vaccines are never 100%. Getting a vaccine doesn't mean you WON'T get sick, it just makes your body produce the anti-bodies so that 90% of the time you'll fight it off. But it's never 100%. But to an overall population, the vaccine works because it can stop 90% of the spread, and eventually it dwindles away and stops. The other point is that (just like a standard flu vaccine) it can also MUTE the impact. Instead of saying "He still got sick. That didn't work." the fact is that perhaps, even as sick as he got, he survived and got better because his body had a jump on making the anti-bodies. Without the vaccine it could have been far worse and potentially even death-resulting. You'll never know for sure, but it's a "pat" answer to just say "oh, that didn't work." Try following the facts people...

    June 3, 2010 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Josh

    The current flu vaccine has no bearing on my job. I am an academic, and choose what avenues of research to pursue. I am working on alternatives approaches to vaccination, and if anything, my financial interests would be served by the current vaccine strategies being ineffective. The fact is that they are effective, and lives are saved by vaccination. Any doctor who claims that the pandemic H1N1 flu is a "hoax" is terribly misinformed, and it is unfortunate that these individuals who are considered "authorities" aren't held accountable for the lives that are lost due to their misinformation.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. gheezy

    well we all got taken for a ride when WHO blew this flu out of proportion. Pharm companies made a ton of money on those foolish enough to take an unprepared vaccine. Swine flu is nothing new, just as the Avian flu was nothing new. When both broke out, in comes the WHO backed by Pharmaceutical companies to make the flu seem more extreme than the "regular" flu. At both times they made a lot of money off the panicking people. People die off the "regular" flu annually yet no one makes a big fuss off that.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Josh

    With regard to Leslie's post, your associates clearly have not read the all of the literature. If they had, it is inconceivable that they came to the conclusion that the vaccine is not necessary (unless they are 65 or older, in which case you likely already have some immunity due to exposure to swine flu-like viruses). I would recommend going to http://www.cdc.gov or http://www.who.int and reading their views on pandemic flu. You can even take a look at some primary literature at http://www.pubmed.com with search terms such as "influenza, vaccine, swine flu".

    June 3, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Simon S.

    If any of you doubt that H1N1 was a dangerous virus, think again. The scientific community and WHO were not as afraid of this particular virus as they were what the virus could become, and what it means for other viruses.

    These viruses have been mutating and picking up genes from other viruses that were present in hosts that had multiple diseases. That means that these viruses were learning from each other how to become more deadly.

    For this reason, H1N1 could have been much more deadly than it was, had enough people contracted it and it mutated into something extremely deadly. That's why the vaccine was and is a must.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. wary

    One of my close friends got the vaccine because she was pregnant. Which is what the docs tell you do (but not what I would do given an unproven vaccine sold in mass hysteria).... however 3 months later voila. She is in the ER with the swine flu and massive dehydration. The vaccine containing known neurotoxins and chemicals delivered to her forming baby which could trigger developmental issues all for nothing. Think twice..there are more natural ways to boost your body's immune system..Take some vitamin D3 and improve your immune system. I've received the measles vaccine and a booster for a grand total of 3-4 x and am still not immune to it. I'm done with them personally.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Paul

    That virus was serious business. I had a 102 fever for close to 5 days and it wasn't nice. I got it before the vaccine was out and missed alot of work and college.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. mike

    The vaccine was unnecessary and most people caught on... didn't get the vaccine and didn't get the flu. Lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise and teach your kids how to not be dirty. That's all you need to do.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. gheezy

    @ Simon S. and why do you think that these virus have been mutating at such a fast rate? Is it because humans over-vaccinate themselves perhaps? Come on if you pay any attention to viruses you should know they are never the same over time. Don't simply rely on all these vaccinations because they cause the mutations not solve them. It's humans fault for the deadlier mutations. Why not have faith in our bodies immune system, it as well has the ability to adapt and mutate defenses to these "new" viruses.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Judy

    Call it a fake flu all you want – I had it and was never so sick in my life, nor did I ever get so sick so fast, or take so long to get over it. One day a slight fever and vomiting, two days later in the hospital on oxygen. I missed three weeks of work. Swine flu really was that bad.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Julie

    It's not over yet.......the worst is yet to come. Are you ready for it?

    June 3, 2010 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Vidura

    CNN please report on latest developments, WHO swine flu experts 'linked' with drug companies: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/10235558.stm
    I had a feeling that the high level of pandemic imposed by the WHO was a scam all along.

    June 5, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Socorro

    People want to hear the truth. CNN "Please report on latest developments, WHO swine flue experts "linked" with drug companies". Unfortunately, our media refuses to inform taxpayers the real truth concerning the H1N1 scam fabricated by the WHO and the CDC.

    July 22, 2010 at 05:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Chris Maraia, Director of WPR

    Washing our hands people: it's that simple. Spending millions on vaccines and discarding millions because they expired is such a waste when we all we have to do is keep our hands clean. I want to create a day where everyone will stop what they are doing and spend 15 – 20 seconds of their time too wash their hands, or wipe-out their hand wipes; everybody. The project is called "HandsUP America" but is designed for the whole world. See at http://www.worldpublicrestrooms.com. I am currently alone on this project. I plan to submit an "unsolicited proposal" (FAR 15.6) to all government agencies who have implemented their own pandemic preparedness plan for their support. I strongly believe that "HandsUP America" will reduce the spread of infectious diseases and prevent a pandemic from ever happening. Sometimes the most simple things in life can prevent the most devastating things in life. There are many projects being conducted today too reduce influenza. But I must say, project "HandsUP American" is the best of them all, and the only one of its' kind. The project began in the State of Tennessee on September 16, 2009, and is doing very well.

    Globalization and the resulting highly integrated transportation networks makes it possible for infectious diseases to spread rapidly from one region of the world to another, and because of that, it is my goal to setup project HandsUP throughout every airport in the world starting with Atlanta International Airport. Until then PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN for the sake of yourself and everyone else. Thank you.

    July 22, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
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