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WHO: H1N1 Could Infect More

This winter could see H1N1 rates rise outside the U.S. and Europe.

Chicago Tribune

December 30, 2009

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Many more people could become sick with H1N1 flu this winter even though it has peaked in North America and some European countries, the head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The worst of the swine flu outbreak is over in the United States, Canada, Britain and some other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, said Dr. Margaret Chan. But there is still intensive flu activity in Egypt, India and elsewhere, she said.

Health experts should monitor the pandemic for another six to 12 months, Chan said, adding that the virus could still mutate and become more dangerous.

More than 11,500 people are known to have died from the disease since the outbreak began in April, according to WHO. About 250,000 to 500,000 people die from regular flu each year.