WHO reports 1,516 confirmed cases of swine flu

May 6th, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva, May 6 (DPA) The World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday confirmed 1,516 cases of the influenza A(H1N1) virus, which is better known as swine flu, in 22 countries.
Mexico reported 822 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 29 deaths, the US had 403 confirmed infections, including two deaths, and Canada reported 165 cases, the UN health agency on its website.

In Europe, Spain was hardest hit with 57 cases, followed by Britain which reported 27 cases of the virus commonly known as swine flu.

The WHO has said there was no evidence so far of sustained human-to-human transmission at the community level outside of North America. The agency, however, said it would maintain its influenza pandemic alert at phase 5, one below the highest.

WHO officials have cautioned authorities to be on alert for possible spikes in the number of cases and called on individuals to practice good hygiene.

While the disease was so far showing its mild side for the most part, that could change, WHO officials have warned.

People would build up some immunity over time, as with most flu virus.

The organisation has maintained that there was no need to restrict travel or consumption of pork products.

Mexico has complained to the World Trade Organization that import bans slapped on its pig products were not justified. The US has also said it was calling on its trading partners to repeal any such measures which were not backed by scientific evidence.

Over a dozen countries, including China and Russia, have imposed restrictions on meat products from North America since the outbreak of the new virus was verified.

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