Swine Flu Continues to Circle Globe

The new pandemic H1N1 is causing a "brisk" flu season in the Southern Hemisphere but so far no worse than a moderate influenza pandemic, health officials said on Thursday.

They were speaking to a meeting of U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers considering the start of human clinical trials of a vaccine against the new swine flu train, which spread globally in less than two months , Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Federal health officials say the new swine flu isn't yet mutating to become more dangerous, but they're closely tracking that as the virus continues to circle the globe.

Dr. Nancy Cox of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it "quite surprising" that more genetic variation hasn't emerged given the virus' quick spread — sickening more than an estimated million people in the U.S. alone since April , The Associated Press reports.

However, the figure for England is double the total of the previous week and comes as the Department of Health prepares to launch the National Flu Service.

The hotline and website service will give flu sufferers access to drugs without needing to consult a GP.

It has been designed to relieve the pressure on the health service.

Pregnant women, people with health conditions and the under-ones will still all be referred to GPs, BBC News reports.