Monsters and Critics
Friday, November 6, 2009
Ukraine’s deadly flu outbreak showed signs of slowing on Friday, as government control measures began taking effect and warmer weather arrived.
A total of 109 people had died of flu-related symptoms since late October, 14 from the particularly virulent H1N1 swine flu strain, said Oleskander Vilovol, a Health Ministry spokesman, according to a Channel 5 television news report.
Close to 34,000 Ukrainians nationwide were hospitalized because of severe flu symptoms, 32 with confirmed cases of swine flu, Vilovol said, noting a moderate slowing of reported cases as compared with last week.
But flu remained a massive health problem, he said, with 762,833 persons registered with the Health Ministry as currently suffering from the flu, or roughly 1.6 per cent of Ukraine’s entire population.
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World Health Organization (WHO) officials praised the response by the government to the flu outbreak, according to the Interfax news agency. Mission leader Jukka Pukkila said at a Kiev press conference: ‘We can only approve of the actions of the Ukrainian government, that they so quickly and adequately began to respond to the epidemic.’
Road and foot traffic at Ukraine’s western border-crossing points with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland had almost returned to pre-flu outbreak levels, according to a statement from Ukraine’s Border Troops command.
Every second Ukrainian will catch the flu this season, partly because of a government ban on flu vaccinations in the autumn, Interfax quoted Oleksy Hromazyn, spokesman for Ukraine’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, as saying.
This article was posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 at 10:00 am