Europe to stop counting swine flu cases

September 1, 2009

The number of confirmed swine flu cases in Europe stands at over 46,000 and the European Union will no longer publish weekly figures on the numbers infected, a health chief said Tuesday.

"We will stop issuing case counts," Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) told members of the European parliament.

"Countries with the biggest outbreaks have simply stopped counting the figures," she said.

Jakab said the figure of 104 deaths only reflected a proportion of the actual deaths caused by the A(H1N1) virus.

"We need to do studies on the exact mortality to get the picture right," she said.

Jakab also said she viewed the pandemic as a "moderate pandemic, but not a harmless pandemic."

And she warned that over the coming months up to 30 percent of the population could be affected, putting pressure on health services.

Jakab added that clinical trials of a vaccine, being conducted on healthy adults, would be completed at the earliest by the end of September or early October, with licensing not scheduled until late October.

No clinial trials were yet planned for at risk groups such as children and , she said.

(c) 2009 AFP

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