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Ukraine’s flu outbreak shows signs of slowing

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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.


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.’

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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.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

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