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World Health Organization: No swine flu epidemic this year

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Nov. 15, 2010, 9:37 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

World Health Organization officials on Nov. 14 said they expect the traditional seasonal flu in Ukraine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that the swine flu epidemic will be avoided this winter. Speaking of the last year's strain, AH1N1, this year it is unlikely to lead to mass infection cases. We are expecting a traditional seasonal flu, with infections caused by either AH1N1 or the Н3N2 virus. And a jab is the best way to prevent a flu infection, particularly among high-risk groups, a WHO official said on Ukraine's First National Channel.

Commenting on the PACE health commission's accusations of inflating panic over the flu he said that the swine flu pandemic did exist last year.

The pandemic certainly existed. The last year virus was a virus found for the first time and very few, if any, were immune against it. It spread across the world literally within weeks. This is why it had all the hallmarks of a pandemic virus, the WHO official said.

PACE experts also said earlier that the panic caused by the WHO led to hospitals being overloaded and wasteful spending from state budgets, while the British Medical Journal directly accused the WHO of corruption and financial connections with pharmaceuticals.

The WHO dismissed accusations of colluding with pharmaceutical companies and recalled that vaccination is still the most efficient method of protection from flu viruses.

There was no collusion with any organization. And those who believe that there was such a collusion were simply misinformed, he said.
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