GENEVA – The swine flu pandemic is over, the World Health Organization declared Tuesday.
The WHO said its emergency committee of top flu experts said the pandemic had “largely run its course.”
The H1N1 flu is now in the post-pandemic phase in which it occurs at levels consistent with the normal flu season, the WHO said.
The organization warned, however, that the flu is likely to continue causing serious illness in younger age groups and said it would keep a watchful eye on patterns of infection and mutations.
The pandemic did speed several projects aimed at developing flu vaccines more efficiently and quickly, including a $42 million project by Medicago to build a vaccine facility in the Research Triangle Park, NC. Medicago makes plant based vaccines that can be developed and manufactured much more quickly than the current method, which uses eggs.
A new facility built by Novartis in Holly Springs, NC, is also intended to make vaccines that could battle a pandemic.
Numerous startups and biotech firms are developing new approaches to vaccines and many of the firms are based in the Southeast.
- Vaccine maker Medicago building $42M facility in RTP
- RTP’s AlphaVax gets $3.6M federal contract
- Maryland’s MedImmune wins $23.9 million DOD contract
- AphaVax Closes $12.7 E Round
- Three southeast states in running for $300M flu vaccine plant
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