The death toll in the swine flu pandemic has passed the 1,000 mark, with 1,154 deaths since the outbreak was uncovered in April, data published Wednesday by the World Health Organisation showed.
Swine flu now reaches 168 countries and territories, the WHO said in its latest update on its website.
As of July 31, Azerbaijan, Gabon, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Monaco, Nauru, Swaziland, and Suriname were added to the ranks of countries reporting laboratory confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1).
Just over a week ago on July 27, the WHO reported 816 deaths around the world.
The total number of laboratory confirmed infections worldwide reached 162,380, but the figure understates the full number since individual cases no longer have to be tested or reported.
Most of the deaths — 1,008 — have occurred in the WHO’s America’s region, encompassing North and South America and including Mexico and the United States, the countries where the new A(H1N1) pandemic strain first appeared.
Sixty-five deaths were reported in the WHO’s regional office for South East Asia and 39 in its Western Pacific region since the outbreak began. Forty-one were reported in Europe.
By comparison, seasonal flu causes about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths a year, and results in about three to five million cases of severe illness, according to the WHO.