updated 5/17/2010 11:16:09 AM ET 2010-05-17T15:16:09

The U.N.'s global health chief says the world was lucky that the swine flu pandemic was relatively mild.

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WHO Director-General Margaret Chan tells government delegations that the virus hadn't mutated into a more dangerous form, and that treatments such as Tamiflu and vaccines proved effective.

But, she says a problem in any of these areas would have made the flu outbreak far more severe.

Chan says public health successes usually result from governments enacting good policy and devoting enough resources.

"Sometimes, though, we are just plain lucky," she added in a speech at Monday's World Health Assembly. "This has been the case with the H1N1 influenza pandemic."

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