WHO says H1N1 pandemic slowing

In a statement released on its website, the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee said on Tuesday that the worst of the H1N1 pandemic influenza outbreak that spread rapidly last summer appears to have passed, though it did not go so far as to call it wiped out.

Tropical areas such as the Caribbean and Southeast Asia remain the most active regions where pandemic influenza virus is being spread, though, according to the WHO release, they are experiencing only a "low-level resurgence of cases after experiencing more intense activity during July 2009."

The release states that, "After extensive discussions and questions, the Committee expressed the unanimous view that from a global perspective while pandemic activity is continuing, the period of most intense pandemic activity appears likely to have passed for many parts of the world."

Despite the ebbing of the disease, the WHO warns, countries should remain vigilant in taking public health precautions to prevent the spread of the pandemic, such as continued vaccination and surveillance of the disease, the release stated.

Pandemic disease is likely to continue to happen, and the Emergency Committee will gather once more in July to discuss information about the winter influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere.