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The end of the pandemic – what will be the pattern of influenza in the 2010-11 European winter and beyond?

A recent editorial at www.eurosurveillance.org by A. Nicol and M. Sprenger considers the possible pattern for influenza in Europe this winter and beyond.

"On 10 August 2010 Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that the world has moved into the post-pandemic period [1]. Following the advice of the Emergency Committee, which based its assessment on the global situation, WHO declared that there has been a pandemic phase change and that the WHO post-pandemic definition, ‘Levels of influenza activity have returned to the levels seen for inter-pandemic influenza in most countries with adequate surveillance’, has been met [2]. In order to come to this conclusion it has been important to observe the pattern of influenza in the southern hemisphere temperate countries which are now experiencing their winter. What does this mean for the 2010-11 winter in Europe and winters beyond?"

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