H1N1 pandemic at less severe end of spectrum: WHO

A H1N1 flu vaccine bottle is seen at the George Washington University Student Health Service clinic in Washington November 19, 2009. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

GENEVA (Reuters) - The current H1N1 swine flu pandemic is relatively less severe than some other influenza outbreaks, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

“This pandemic appears to be on the less severe side of the spectrum of pandemics that we have seen in the 20th century,” the United Nations health agency’s top flu expert, Keiji Fukuda, told a briefing.

He was speaking the day after the WHO’s emergency committee decided it was premature to declare that the current pandemic, declared in June, had peaked. The committee will reconvene in a few weeks.

Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Jon Boyle