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A/H1N1 flu has killed over 3,000, says WHO
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At least 3,205 people worldwide have been killed by the A/H1N1 influenza since the new flu virus was identified in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a latest update on Friday.

Of all the deaths, 2,467 occurred in the Americas, 306 in the West Pacific region. The other four WHO regional offices, South- East Asia, Europe, East Mediterranean and Africa reported 221, 125, 51 and 35 deaths respectively.

The WHO, which declared the A/H1N1 flu as a pandemic in June, said the total number of lab confirmed cases worldwide is now over 277,607, but this actually understates the real number of infections as countries are no longer required to test and report individual cases.

According to the agency, the A/H1N1 virus continues to be the predominant circulating virus of influenza, both in the northern and southern hemisphere. But there still no signs that the virus has mutated to a more virulent or lethal form.

Although the virus can cause very severe and fatal illness, also in young and healthy people, the number of such cases remains relatively small.

The WHO said that it was not changing its guidelines for use of antiviral drugs at this time, despite the report of sporadic cases, in which virus showed resistance to such drugs as Tamiflu.

So far 21 Tamilfu resistant cases have been described from around the world, said the agency, adding that it would continue to monitor the situation closely in collaboration with its partners.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2009)

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