The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released a statement alerting people everywhere that the world is no longer in phase six of the influenza pandemic alert and that WHO is moving into the post-pandemic period.
WHO states that the H1N1 virus has largely run its course, but that does not mean that it is gone completely. There is a pattern of past pandemics that leads researchers to believe that H1N1 will took on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and will “continue to circulate for some years to come.” Also noting past pandemics, it is hypothesized that the virus will “continue to cause serious disease in younger age groups, at least in the immediate post-pandemic period.”
While we are not completely out of the woods when it comes to H1N1, there have been far less reports of people being diagnosed with the illness and far less reports of deaths because of it. It is okay to experience a mild sigh of relief. The Centers for Disease Control are gearing up for the upcoming 2010/2011 flu season, which will contain three vaccine viruses recommended by the World Health Organization and the FDA:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
- A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
From the CDC:
“This recommended composition of the seasonal vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere, including the United States, is the same composition that was recommended for the Southern Hemisphere’s 2010 influenza vaccines.”