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WHO confirms 816 A/H1N1 influenza deaths worldwide
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The A/H1N1 influenza has caused a total of 816 deaths worldwide as the virus continues to spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

Of all the deaths, 707 occurred in the Americas, 44 occurred in South-East Asia, 34 in Europe, 30 in the Western Pacific region and one in the Eastern Mediterranean region, the UN agency said in a latest update of the pandemic situation.

In addition, more than 20 countries and territories have reported their first confirmed case(s) of the H1N1 influenza since the last update of information was released on July 6.

Those countries and territories include Afghanistan, Andorra, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Haiti, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Solomon Islands.

The tally of accumulated cases worldwide stands at 134,503, according to the agency. But it noted that this tally is actually much lower than the real number of cases, as countries are no longer required to test and report individual cases.

The H1N1 influenza, which first emerged in Mexico and was declared as a pandemic by the WHO in June, has so far been characterized by the mildness of symptoms in the overwhelming majority of patients, who usually recover even without medical treatment.

According to the WHO, so far there is still no signs of the virus mutating and becoming more fatal despite its fast spreading.

It stressed, however, that the world should keep monitoring the virus and be prepared for any possible changes, especially when winter comes in the northern hemisphere.

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2009)

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