May 5, 2009 / 3:44 PM / 11 years ago

No evidence of community-level H1N1 in Europe-WHO

GENEVA, May 5 (Reuters) - The World Health Organisation is not yet seeing community-level transmission of the new H1N1 flu virus in Europe, a WHO official said on Tuesday.

Keiji Fukuda, acting WHO assistant director-general, said in the two European countries with the most cases — Spain and Britain — the virus did not appear to be spreading beyond institutions like schools to the broader community.

"We do not feel we are seeing that right now," Fukuda told a news briefing, adding in Spain most cases were related to travel.

A flu outbreak that first emerged in Mexico has infected more than 1,200 people in 21 countries over the past week. To date, 27 deaths have been officially confirmed — 26 in Mexico and one in the United States — though more than 100 are suspected to have died from the flu.

Its global spread has kept alive fears of a possible pandemic, although scientists say this strain does not appear more deadly than seasonal flu. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Laura Macinnis, Writing by Michael Kahn)

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