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EPIDEMICS
24 swine flu deaths in Britain since October: official

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Dec 23, 2010
A total of 24 people have died of swine flu in Britain since October with children among the dead, authorities said Thursday.

Data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed 27 people have died with confirmed flu, including 24 with swine flu and three with another strain.

Nine children and 18 adults have died, although the data does not indicate which of the victims did not die from swine flu.

THe HPA said it was concerned that people in at-risk groups, such as those over the age of 65 and people with respiratory conditions, were failing to get themselves vaccinated.

Swine flu claims 22 lives in Sri Lanka over two months
Colombo (AFP) Dec 27, 2010 - Swine flu in Sri Lanka has killed 22 people and infected more than 300 over the past two months, the island's health ministry said Monday.

Official figures showed that 22 people infected with H1N1 -- swine flu -- had died since October 25 while 342 cases were reported during this period.

"The strain of influenza affects peoples' lungs and triggers off a strain of viral pneumonia. The heavy rains and the cold weather helped spread the virus," government epidemiologist Sudath Peiris said.

The ministry urged people to avoid crowded places and ordered those managing public phone booths to disinfect them at least eight times daily.

The World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic over in August, more than a year after the new virus spread around the world, sparking panic and killing thousands before fizzling out.

Swine flu kills three in Syria: health ministry
Damascus (AFP) Dec 27, 2010 - Swine flu has killed three people in Syria so far this month, a health ministry official said on Monday.

"Three deaths were recorded," said Hala al-Khayer, the director of communicable diseases at the Syrian ministry of health.

Those who died were hospitalised in December seriously ill with the disease, Khayer told AFP, adding a fourth person was cured.

The World Health Organisation declared the swine flu pandemic over in August, more than a year after the virus that emerged from Mexico sparked panic and killed thousands of people around the world before fizzling out.

Swine flu has killed 163 people out of almost 36,000 cases reported in 76 countries, according to the WHO.



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