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WHO Says Pandemic of H1N1 May Continue or Increase


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The World Health Organization's emergency committee says it is premature to conclude that the H1N1 flu has peaked globally. WHO officials say there are too many uncertainties, and more information is needed.

The World Health Organization says more than 16,000 people have died as a result of the H1N1 pandemic and it is still too early to say the virus has peaked around the world.

Dr. Shmuel Shoham is an infectious disease specialist at the Washington Hospital Center in the U.S. capital. He says if officials at the WHO are not careful, public health plans that are put in place to control the disease could be put at risk.

World health experts point to countries such as Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa where cases of H1N1 flu are still increasing. In the Southern Hemisphere, winter will soon arrive and more flu cases may develop.

WHO says more than 300 million people have received H1N1 vaccinations, and the number of H1N1 cases has dropped in Western Europe and North America.

Doctors say everyone should still wash his or her hands regularly, and anyone who has not received the H1N1 vaccine should do so, even those who live in North America or Europe because there could be another outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

Doctor Shoham says if there is another wave of the H1N1 flu, it could happen in the next several months. The World Health Organization says its emergency committee will meet in a few weeks to take another global look at the H1N1 flu.

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