WHO denies flu pandemic was fake

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The World Health Organization has denied claims that swine flu was a fake pandemic in its latest communication to Vietnam, the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.

However, the UN agency admitted making some mistakes in the definition of pandemic posted on its website some time ago.

The agency later removed the misleading information right as soon as it was brought to their attention, according to the ministry.

The WHO communication was sent by its office in Vietnam in reply to the government’s demand for a response to the accusations by Wolfgang Wodarg, Chairman of the Health Committee at the Council of Europe, that it had exaggerated the pandemic under pressure from pharmaceutical lobbies.

Also on Wednesday, Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the ministry’s Department of Preventive Health and Environment, told a meeting in Hanoi that Vietnam would persist with measures to control the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic.

Vietnam plans to inoculate over 947,000 four-month-plus pregnant women and health workers with the 1.2 doses of H1N1 vaccines that the WHO has sponsored, Nga said.

He said Vietnam had recorded another three H1N1-related deaths over the last two weeks, including two children two and eight years old. The country’s H1N1 death toll has gone up to 56 since the virus was first detected here in May 2008.

Meanwhile, the southern province of An Giang had reported that three foreigners, including a child, have been infected with cholera, the health ministry said at the meeting.

These were the first cholera cases recorded this year, it said.

Source: Tuoi Tre

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