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Swine flu pandemic believed to be on the wane

Health officials say the swine flu pandemic is likely to be over in Switzerland within the next four weeks.

Patrick Mathys of the Federal Health Office said up to 1.5 million had been infected with the A/H1N1 virus in the country so far but in most cases the illness had been mild.

At least 15 people have died from complications of swine flu in Switzerland. Most of the victims were old or suffered from a chronic disease.

About 480 people were admitted to hospital with flu symptoms and nearly 90 of them were treated in intensive care, Mathys said.

Experts on Thursday also point out that a regular seasonal flu virus could still hit Europe in the next few weeks.

The government had bought 13 million doses of vaccine to contain a possible swine flu pandemic.

However, it is estimated that only one in five of the 7.7 million Swiss residents took advantage of the free vaccinations.

There was criticism about the efficiency of the immunisation programme and logistical difficulties.

swissinfo.ch with agencies


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