H1N1 Pandemic Over: Post-Pandemic Flu Season Looms

WHO Declares H1N1 Pandemic Alert Over
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, announced that the world is no longer in phase six of influenza pandemic alert — we are now moving into the post-pandemic period and the new H1N1 virus has largely run its course. Dr. Chan went on to say:

“As we enter the post-pandemic period, this does not mean that the H1N1 virus has gone away. Based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavoir of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

In the post-pandemic period, localized outbreaks of different magnitude may show significant levels of H1N1 transmission. This is the situation we are observing right now in New Zealand, and may see elsewhere.

Continued vigilance is extremely important, and WHO has issued advice on recommended surveillance, vaccination, and clinical management during the post-pandemic period.

Based on available evidence and experience from past pandemics, it is likely that the virus will continue to cause serious disease in younger age groups, at least in the immediate post-pandemic period. Groups identified during the pandemic as at higher risk of severe or fatal illness will probably remain at heightened risk, though hopefully the number of such cases will diminish.

Thanks to extensive preparedness and support from the international community, even countries with very weak health systems were able to detect cases and report them promptly.” (full text of Dr. Chan’s comments)

WHO’s Flu Advisors
WHO has also released a list of flu advisors to the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee concerning Influenza Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. (full list of advisors) Included are these declarations of interest:

  • Dr Nancy Cox: Her public health and surveillance research unit at the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) receives financial support from IFPMA for activities of CDC as a WHO Collaborating Centre in the field of influenza vaccine research and virus isolation work.
  • Professor Arnold Monto: He has declared current and past consultancies in the field of pandemic and/or seasonal influenza for GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi. The remuneration for each of these consultancies is below US$10 000. In addition, his research unit at the University of Michigan has received a grant from Sanofi Pasteur for a clinical trial conducted in 2007-2008 on the comparative efficacy of inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines.
  • Dr Claude Thibeault: Since 2004, he is the Consultant Medical Advisor to International Air Transport Association.
  • Dr John Wood: His research unit at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), a centre of the UK Health Protection Agency, has performed contract research for Sanofi Pasteur, CSL, IFPMA, Novartis and Powdermed in the field of influenza vaccine research and development.
  • Professor Maria Zambon: The UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection receives funding from vaccine manufacturers, including Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GSK, for contract work in Dr Zambon’s laboratory.
  • Professor Neil Morris Ferguson (Advisor): He has acted as a consultant for Roche and GSK Biologicals (ceasing in 2007), with total remuneration from all such work being under US$7 000 in 2007.

2010-2011 Influenza Season, Post-Pandemic Period
Meanwhile, the CDC is gearing up for the 2010-2011 influenza season and advises that the seasonal vaccine this year will contain three vaccine viruses recommended by WHO and the FDA:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like virus, 
  • an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)–like virus,
  • and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus. 

The H1N1 virus is the same vaccine virus as was used in the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.Seasonal flu vaccines are generally available in September and throughout the flu season into January and beyond.

Other Recent Health Policy Issues:

Photo Credit: Greg Knobloch, via U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention

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Julie R.
Julie Rideout R.5 years ago

Research has now shown that more seasonal flu shots you have received, the higher your chances of getting Alzheimer's Disease. Flu shots contain mercury and other toxic substances. There are better--safer--ways to boost your immune system. Vitamin D3 is the substance your body uses to turn your immune system on, so make certain you get enough. If your body were exposed to natural sunlight for 15 minutes, and you don't wash it off with soap for 48 hours, then over those 48 hours, your body will make 20,000 to 25,000 units of vitamin D3. If you can't get it that way, take supplemental Vitamin D3. A new study from Creighton University found that supplemental Vitamin D and calcium reduced women's risk of cancer by 60% to 77%--I bet they didn't get the flu either.

Jennifer Baratta
Jennifer Baratta5 years ago

Thank you.

Tamila mendoza
Tamila mendoza5 years ago

noted thank you

Erin R.
Erin R.5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Ceu ST
Ceu T.5 years ago

Is it real?

Donna B.
Donna B.5 years ago

My son-in-law nearly died from this virus. The rest of the family got shots, I did not (the VA did not have them). I take care of myself and wash my hands. But who knows what will happen next?

Cindy C.
Cindy C.5 years ago

Oh blimey days, scary and I hope there are not so many deaths.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.5 years ago

This message to David: I agree totally. They are now "selling" shingles here in the Fry's supermarket...boy, if you sure get the message you're doomed if you're over 50 or something. It's the placebo factor in reverse.

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C.5 years ago


Petra Luna
Petra Luna5 years ago

Everyone needs to be careful.