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You're reading: WHO: Panel may recommend ending swine flu alert

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says an expert panel may recommend Tuesday that the global body declare the swine flu pandemic officially over.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says the two most likely outcomes of the emergency committee’s deliberations are leaving the pandemic alert at its current phase 6 level — the highest — or moving to the "post-pandemic" stage.

He says WHO Director-General Margaret Chan will have the final say on declaring the pandemic passed.

Hartl told reporters in Geneva that H1N1 will likely remain the dominant flu strain "for quite a while" and vulnerable groups should continue to be vaccinated.

WHO last week confirmed 18,114 deaths from swine flu worldwide since the start of the outbreak in April 2009.

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