Drivers of mass transit system buses receive H1N1 vaccine injections at a hospital in Hefei, Anhui province November 6, 2009. Countries from China to the United States have rolled out vaccination campaigns and the rare side effects have been mild, in line with those caused by seasonal flu vaccines, World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman Gregory Hartl said.
GENEVA-H1N1 swine flu is on the rise in China and Japan after triggering an unusually early start to the winter influenza season in Europe, Central Asia and North America, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
According to the U.N. agency's latest official toll, which is thought to underestimate the total spread of the virus, at least 6,071 people worldwide have died as a result of an H1N1 infection since its discovery earlier this year in Mexico and the United States.
Some 359 deaths were recorded in the past week, which saw a big outbreak in Ukraine as well as ongoing spread of the virus across the northern hemisphere.
"Intense and persistent influenza transmission continues to be reported in North America without evidence of a peak in activity," the WHO said in its latest update.
"In China, after an earlier wave of mixed influenza activity (seasonal H3N2 and pandemic H1N1), pandemic H1N1 influenza activity now predominates and is increasing."
Sharp increases in pandemic flu infections continue to be reported throughout Japan, particularly on the northern island.
China is among more than 20 countries to have launched mass immunization campaigns against the virus...