GENEVA - The H1N1 pandemic is not yet over, although its most intense activity has passed in many parts of the world, the World Health Organization said yesterday after a review of the flu outbreak by independent experts.

The WHO emergency committee said it remained critical for countries to maintain vigilance concerning the pandemic, including necessary public health measures, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement.

Chan said pandemic flu activity was expected to continue, and the committee would meet again by mid-July to review the status of the outbreak once more data from the winter influenza season in the southern hemisphere was available.

Chan's decision means the outbreak, known as swine flu, remains at the top level on the WHO's pandemic scale, phase 6, where it has been since last June.

WHO experts say the virus remains a threat to some vulnerable people, notably pregnant women, young children and those with respiratory problems, and such groups would continue to need vaccinations. - Reuters

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