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May take a year to conquer H1N1 flu pandemic - WHO

The H1N1 flu pandemic may not be conquered until 2011 and continued vigilance is required against the virus which can still mutate, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan also warned that although countries have shored up their defences against the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years, they remain ill-prepared for mass outbreaks of the deadlier bird flu virus.

"It is still premature and too early for us to say we have come to an end of the pandemic influenza worldwide. It would be prudent and appropriate ... to continue to monitor the evolution of this pandemic for the next six to 12 months," Chan told a year-end news conference.
 
 

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