WHO won't declare end to H1N1 pandemic

Officials with the World Health Organization have announced that the WHO's emergency committee will not meet this week to review the H1N1 pandemic and that it will not declare an end to the pandemic.

"It is still a pandemic," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told Yahoo!Health.

Hartl, Yahoo!Health reports, told the press that the meeting was canceled. The meeting, which was slated to convene this week, was meant to review data and declare an official end to the pandemic.

“There is no EC (emergency committee) this week. We are still monitoring and seeing how the virus behaves in the rest of the southern hemisphere winter,” Hartl told Reuters.

Hartl said that health officials are still tracking the virus in Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa to look at infection rates. Hartl added that the pandemic was still in phase 6, according to a WHO-based scale denoting full influenza pandemic.

“Basically our reading after talking to a number of countries in the southern hemisphere is it is too early," Hartl told Yahoo!Health. "So there will be nothing this week."

To date, the virus has officially killed 18,337 people. WHO officials estimate it will take a year after the pandemic ends, however, to determine the true toll.