21 more Thai fatalities

July 31, 2009 by  
Filed under H1N1 Flu Watch

se-fluBANGKOK (Thailand) – THAILAND announced on Wednesday it has recorded 21 more H1N1 flu-related deaths over the past week, bringing the total number of fatalities to 65. ‘The fatal cases have involved those who have prior medical conditions, those with weak immune system and some who sought treatment late,’ said the ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary Paijit Warachit. The number of people infected with H1N1 flu jumped to 8,877 from 6,776, he said.

The latest report came amid disagreement among health officials over the most efficient way to distribute the anti-viral medicine Tamiflu. Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai earlier this week proposed a plan to distribute Tamiflu through medical clinics, in addition to hospitals, in a bid to solve the problem of delayed treatment. But virologists at the ministry expressed concerns, saying that unmonitored distribution of the anti-viral could result in drug resistance. Preventive use of Tamiflu has occasionally led resistant viruses to crop up, including those of seasonal flu. Denmark, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan have reported one case each of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 flu. Thailand has 3.39 million tablets of Tamiflu in its stock, and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization is producing another 10 million tablets, Paichit said. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva last week said the spread of H1N1 flu will likely continue through at least 2010 and that the number of unreported cases could be in the tens of thousands. The World Health Organisation said Monday the worldwide death toll has reached 816 since the start of the outbreak. It has tallied more than 130,000 infections around the world. — AP

Dated : July 30, 2009.

SOURCE : http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/SE%2BAsia/Story/STIStory_410051.html

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