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30 Nov 2010 | eLABORATE

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Swine flu pandemic over

THE swine flu pandemic which claimed 213 Australian lives has been officially declared over by federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon.


Just over 37,600 cases of the virus were reported in Australia during the last eight months of 2009. There have been less than 7000 infections this year to date. "As the number of cases has declined it is appropriate to declare the H1N1 pandemic over in Australia for this year by returning our pandemic phase to 'alert'," Ms Roxon said in a statement. This move was taken on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jim Bishop, and the Australian Health Protection Committee. Australia had been in the "protect" phase until now. It was created in June last year as the number of swine flu cases quickly soared past 2000. Protect recognised that the virus was mild in most but severe in some. The swine flu pandemic claimed 191 Australian lives in 2009 and resulted in 22 deaths this year. There were 5000 hospitalisations in 2009 with 681 patients being admitted to intensive care.

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