Swine flu pandemic not over in New Zealand
The swine flu pandemic is not over in New Zealand, the health ministry said Wednesday, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the world is now in the post-pandemic phase, dpa reported.
More than 300 people have been admitted to hospital this year in a second wave of confirmed H1N1 diagnoses, including 30 serious cases that were taken into intensive care, Darren Hunt, deputy director of public health, said in a statement. Four people have died.
"We are seeing higher levels of hospitalization in areas that weren't severely affected last year," he said.
Hunt said New Zealanders still needed to remain vigilant as there had been significant outbreaks of influenza in some areas, with high levels of absenteeism from work and school and higher than normal hospital admissions.
"While some countries have seen H1N1 virus decline or crowded out by other strains, this is not the case in New Zealand," he said.