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WHO chief warns against false security about H1N1 flu

The World Health Organization on Friday warned against a false sense of security and seemingly dwindling light outbreaks of avian flu H1N1, which says that the worst may not be longer than for the newly discovered virus.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the Organization of the United Nations, the pandemic alert to the second highest level, so it remained "considerable uncertainty" about the exposure, the specific threats in Southeast Asia.

"We meet at a time of crisis, the global impact," she told an intergovernmental meeting on pandemic event at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

The meeting is to tackle the sensitive issue of virus sharing, the countries in which the biological samples to the international community for use by pharmaceutical companies and decision makers, the vaccine formulation JAB ingredients.

At the height of fears about bird flu, Indonesia had refused to H5N1 virus samples with no guarantees that any vaccines developed from them will be made available to poorer countries at an affordable price.

Leading decision-makers including the flu vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis and Baxter International expect the WHO guidelines, whether to start mass production of vaccines against H1N1, which may require less seasonal flu shots.

On Friday, Chan said countries with H1N1 infections for their "exchange of samples for risk assessment and the seed vaccine." Another top WHO officials, Keiji Fukuda, there have been "fast and wide distribution of samples to date.

The participants in the meeting - a precursor to next week's annual World Health Assembly - try to reach an agreement on standards for transparency, trust and sovereignty in relation to virus sample sharing.

"I hope the result is something really balanced, and we can for a long time," said Fukuda.

According to the latest WHO count, more than 7,500 people in 34 countries were infected with the strain of a genetic mix of swine, bird and human viruses. The symptoms are easy for most patients, but 65 people have died from the flu, especially in Mexico.

Chan said the WHO's leadership was aware of parts of Southeast Asia saw that major outbreaks of the H5N1 bird flu virus - a virus that can kill if it's from birds to humans, but has simply not among the people until today.

A mixture of H5N1 and H1N1 viruses could have a major influence, she said, while stressing: "I am not saying that will happen."

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