WHO Director-General declares H1N1 pandemic over

At 15:00 (central European time) on Tuesday 10 August 2010, the Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, declared the end of the influenza (H1N1) pandemic. This decision was prompted by the outcomes and advice of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee meeting held earlier in the day. The Committee considered an epidemiological update on the status of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (in both northern and southern hemispheres), and discussed the status of the pandemic and the need for continuation of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

In the post-pandemic period, cases and outbreaks due to the H1N1 virus will continue to occur. In addition, it is most likely that, compared with seasonal influenza, younger age groups, including pregnant women, will continue to be affected disproportionately by severe disease due to pandemic (H1N1) 2009, including viral pneumonia. WHO recommends that people continue to stay alert and protect themselves from influenza infection such as through use of vaccines, hand and respiratory hygiene and other steps. WHO pandemic influenza preparedness and response guidelines give detailed advice.

WHO has issued further guidance on recommended activities during the post-pandemic period, including advice on epidemiological and virological monitoring, vaccination, and the clinical management of cases.

WHO/Europe publishes a weekly surveillance report on pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in English and Russian, which is based on data covering the Region’s total population of 883 million. To view these reports over the history of the pandemic, select the year/week desired. The EuroFlu bulletin also includes an update of the current situation in the southern hemisphere.