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Pandemic not over, but Canadian health agencies disagree

The World Health Agency said today that the H1N1 influenza pandemic is still going on. But the Public Health Agency of Canada and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control appear to have already forgotten about swine flu.

On its website, WHO said on Thursday that the disease is still active:

Following the advice of the Emergency Committee, the Director-General [Margaret Chan] determined that while the period of most intense pandemic activity has passed, pandemic disease is expected to continue to occur and that a further meeting of the Emergency Committee to reassess the epidemiological situation would be convened by mid July 2010, when information from the winter influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere will be available.

Canadian health agencies, however, have long since ceased to follow the disease. The latest update on the website of the Public Health Agency of Canada is a travel notice posted on May 21.

Meanwhile the B.C. Centre for Disease Control stopped posting updates on February 25, when it reported B.C. had seen 1,080 hospitalizations for the disease and 57 deaths.

A report in today's Globe and Mail claimed that the national flu-vaccination program had been a $2 billion bust.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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