Thursday, November 5, 2009

H1N1 Goes Postal in the Ukraine ?

Eighty-six people have died in Ukraine from flu and respiratory infections, the health ministry said Wednesday, in an epidemic the World Health Organisation said could be largely due to the A(H1N1) virus.

The ministry said that almost half a million cases of flu and acute respiratory infections had been recorded since mid-October in the country of 46 million, while 24,000 people have been hospitalised.1

The WHO is on the look out for mutations that could make the virus more deadly. And the Ukraine is a country in deep economic crisis, with a strained health care and social system to begin with. As an example:
"Mr Spijkers describes the situation in the children’s hospitals his foundation supports as appalling. There is a lack of basic medical supplies. There are barely any Flu tests, vaccines or anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu. The children’s hospital in Lviv, 130 kilometres from the Polish border, has 100 Tamiflu tablets for 160 patients. “If children get ill, we can’t even establish whether they have the A(H1N1) virus. We just have to go by the symptoms,”2
Likewise, the H1N1 vaccine shortages in the U.S. are inexcusable. I know a medical care professional, in daily contact with H1N1 patients, who has not had access to the vaccine.

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