WHO: Swine Flu Pandemic Officially Over

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The World Health Organization declared Tuesday that the swine flu pandemic is officially over.

"We are now moving into the post-pandemic period," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said. "The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course."

Most countries have started cancelling vaccine orders and shutting down hotlines.

Cases of the swine flu are now at normal levels that match the seasonal flu. The disease has not mutated and has turned out to be less deadly than medical experts originally feared.

Still, WHO officials warned the virus will continue to cause serious disease in younger children and pregnant women.

"Based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come," Chan said.
    
More than 18,000 people worldwide have died since the outbreak began last year.

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