The World Health Organization declared on Tuesday that the swine flu pandemic that claimed more than 18,000 lives around the world is now over. "The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said.

Although an international public health emergency on the H1N1 virus is not required, swine flu is expected to circulate for some more time.

"Based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come," Chan said in a statement.

Health officials say H1N1 will no longer be the dominant virus but spread along with other flu viruses.

H1N1 virus was first found in Mexico last year and the US in April. When the spread of the virus could not be stopped in some part of the world, UN body raised its alerts and ultimately declared a pandemic on June 11, last year.

More than 300 million people received A(H1N1) vaccinations worldwide, according the WHO.

Federal health officials are still urging people to get vaccinated, especially young and pregnant women.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said H1N1 will be used in the mix of three viruses in the 2010-2011 flu vaccine.