Thursday, November 5, 2009
British scientists are examining samples of a strain of swine flu behind a deadly Ukrainian outbreak to determine whether the virus has mutated.
More than 80 people have died in Ukraine in the last two weeks and there have been 450,000 cases of respiratory illness.
The World Health Organisation has sent an emergency team to monitor the epidemic and says it assumes most of the illness in the country has been caused by H1N1 swine flu.
The Ukrainian government has closed schools and universities for three weeks, and many public events have been banned.
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President Viktor Yushchenko said experts fear the simultaneous existence of three types of flu viruses within the country “may lead to the emergence of an even more aggressive new virus”.
The WHO team of nine experts dispatched samples from infected patients for examination at the World Influenza Centre at Mill Hill, in London.
“Many questions remain to be answered,” the organisation said in a statement.
This article was posted: Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 9:33 am