RAMALLAH, January 3, 2013 (WAFA) – Eleven people have died from swine flu epidemic, known also as H1N1, that hit the West Bank since the start of the winter season, the Ministry of Health said in a report on Thursday.
The latest two victims, an elderly man and a baby part of a triplet who had health problems, died on Wednesday.
Most of the deaths were from the Jenin area where four people died, said the report. Two were from Tulkarm and one each from Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Qalqilya and Tubas.
The ministry said 323 people were treated with the H1N1 virus, with more than 50 of them in Ramallah.
Ministry officials said the epidemic is not serious but that people most vulnerable to the disease, mainly children under five, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic illness, should take extra precautions during the flu season.
They said flu vaccination has run out and that the ministry has asked for more vaccines from the World Health Organization, which should arrive in few days.
TNN | Jan 3, 2013, 06.35 AM IST
JAIPUR: Swine flu has again reared its ugly head in the state. In the past 20 days, 24 swine flu deaths have been recorded while 155 persons tested positive. In the first eight months of the financial year 2012-13, the state recorded 34 deaths, but the toll shot up in the last 20 days.
From April 1 to December 13, 34 people died of swine flu and 217 people tested positive for the influenza. In contrast, between December 14 and January 2, the swine flu toll rose to 58 even as number of positive cases has increased to 372.
The medical health and family welfare department has instructed chief medical health officers of districts with high number of swine flu cases to initiate preventive measures and conduct survey of the areas.
Kota, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Jaipur districts have registered maximum cases of swine flu. One person died of swine flu in Jodhpur on Wednesday while nine fresh cases were reported from different parts of the state. Five persons tested positive for influenza in Bikaner, two in Jaipur and one each in Churu and Udaipur.
Health director Dr B R Meena said, “Teams of officials from Jaipur will be sent to Kota, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur to take stock of the situation.”
In Bikaner, the district collector has already directed the schools not to conduct morning assemblies to prevent the spread of the influenza.
STOCKHOLM – Anatolia News Agency
Fourteen people were diagnosed with the swine flu virus (H1N1) in different regions of Norway, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health announced in a public statement.
An 11-year-old child died of the swine flu virus last week in Norway.
The institute has called all Norwegians in risk groups to be vaccinated as the swine flu danger is still present in the country.
Thirty-two people died of swine flu in Norway in 2009, when the pandemic was in its most widespread period.
The World Health Organization announced a worldwide pandemic alert for swine flu in June 2009, which is the highest level of alert.
RAFHA — Residents of the northeast governorate of Rafha buried on Monday a girl who died from swine flu and was reportedly confined for several days without receiving any medication to treat her condition.
Ghala Khaleef Al-Shammari died at Rafha Central Hospital and her father Khaleef Al-Shammari said he tried hard to save his daughter’s life, but to no avail.
He told Dammam-based Alsharq newspaper: “All my efforts were ignored by the Health Ministry.”
Director of Rafha Central Hospital Ayyad Al-Maeeli said Ghala came to the hospital suffering from respiratory problems, but medical examinations showed she had pneumonia, a possible symptom of swine flu.
He said: “The necessary tests were conducted to diagnose that she had the disease and the girl was connected to a ventilator.
“The results of the tests were communicated to many hospitals but none of them were willing to accept her, even though approval was given to transport her by air ambulance.”
The director said the doctor treating Ghala was in constant contact with a consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. The father said his daughter’s suffering began on the first day of December as she started suffering from high temperatures and a constant cough.
He said: “She was given medicine by Rafha hospital but there was no improvement in her condition.
“We took her again to the hospital where she was admitted.
“Her condition deteriorated and the doctors decided to connect her to a ventilator.”
Al-Shammari said he tried his best to find a bed for his daughter at one of the advanced Health Ministry hospitals, but did not have any success. He added: “My daughter died without receiving any advanced medical services.”
The father said he contacted the National Guard Hospital at Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz Medical City and many other hospitals in the capital and other cities, but none of them were willing to accept his daughter.
Al-Shammari said as a precautionary measure he got his other children checked and they were all safe.
He denied claims specialists from Rafha Health Affairs had visited their home to check other members of the family. He said he had no idea if other students in the school where his daughter went to were tested for swine flu.
The father said he would check if he could sue the ministry for negligence, especially as the government had assured citizens of medical treatment anywhere in the country.
“I am a military man and have not enough resources to seek treatment for my daughter outside the Kingdom.”
Ghala’s uncle Majed Saadi Al-Shammari asked the Health Ministry to justify why Ghala was not transported to any advanced hospital in the Kingdom like similar cases. “We hear about victims of traffic accidents being airlifted by air ambulance.
“Why was this not the case for our daughter?”
The uncle criticized a health official who reportedly said Ghala’s condition was normal and did not need much attention.
“We have seen cases not as serious as Ghala’s being given utmost care, but our daughter died in our hands without anyone giving us a helping hand.”
Saud Al-Shammari, another relative, said another girl from the family with similar symptoms was airlifted to the central hospital in Dammam about six months ago, but the hospital refused to accept her.
“Before we could turn back, the girl died right at the door of the hospital.” — SG
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