Saturday, Oct 31st, 2009
The World Health Organization is sending a team of experts to Ukraine to look into reports of severe H1N1 disease there, a spokesperson for the global health agency said Friday.
Gregory Hartl said the team was being pulled together by the WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, which goes by the acronym GOARN.
The team will travel early next week to the eastern European country, which has closed schools and banned public meetings in response to a spike in cases of acute respiratory illness believed to be H1N1.
“This is something that certainly needs investigating,” Hartl said from Geneva.
He said the government of Ukraine is being forthcoming with information on the outbreak, which is said to centre on three regions in the western part of the country.
The country, which is in the midst of an election campaign, has reportedly imposed strict measures to slow the spread of the virus.
According to the BBC, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said there would also be restrictions on what she called non-urgent travel between different parts of Ukraine.
Reports on the number of deaths vary, some suggesting Tymoshenko had said only one person has died of the virus but her rival, President Viktor Yushchenko, has said 11 Ukrainians have died so far.
This article was posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 6:00 am