Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Swine flu becomes political issue in Ukraine:"President will be responsible for every person who is ill today or dies"

Ukraine has been hit with a dramatic spike in flu-like illnesses and
deaths, including reports of hemorrhagic pneumonia cases, according to recent media accounts, and some say government officials are exploiting the outbreak for political reasons.
The World Health Organization, or WHO, reported one week ago that the country had recorded more than 250,000 cases of flu-like illness. But today Ukraine's ministry of health claims the illness has affected 1.2 million people with as many as 65,000 Ukrainians hospitalized, 330 patients requiring intensive care and a death toll of 239, including 17 deaths purportedly from the H1N1 flu.Regions in western Ukraine are showing the highest rates of acute respiratory and flu-like illness, the report states.
"Laboratory testing in Ukraine has confirmed pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in samples taken from patients in two of the most affected regions," WHO reported. "As the pandemic virus has rapidly become the dominant influenza strain worldwide, it can be assumed that most cases of influenza in Ukraine are caused by the H1N1 virus."
WHO deployed a multi-disciplinary team of nine experts who arrived in Kiev Nov. 2 at the request of the government. The team is warning that a second wave of illness is likely to take place.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has canceled political rallies and closed schools for up to three weeks....

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