GENEVA (Kyodo) The outbreak of swine flu in Japan is drawing global attention and the country’s response is hoped to set an example for other Asian nations, a World Health Organization expert said.

Speaking to a group of Japanese reporters, Nahoko Shindo, a WHO medical officer, welcomed the responses taken so far by the government but warned that the new H1N1 virus may not have revealed its “real nature” in Japan and Europe because infected people have been treated promptly with antiflu drugs, unlike in North America.

The outbreaks in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures, including their highly populated capitals of Kobe and Osaka, “are being closely watched worldwide,” Shindo said Sunday. “We hope Japan will set an example.”

The quick and transparent provision of information by officials in Kobe, where many of the more than 100 cases of infection have occurred, has been possible thanks to preparation and training conducted in advance, said Shindo, who was invited by the city for a lecture last year.

The accuracy of the city’s diagnosis of infections should also be praised, she said.

The WHO is continuing to monitor the global situation, including an analysis of Japan in a teleconference Monday morning.

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