Friday, December 18, 2009

Death toll of A/H1N1 flu rises to 47 in Costa Rica

REUTERS/Mark Boster/Pool/FilesSan Jose, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) - The Costa Rican Health Ministry announced here on Friday that A/H1N1 flu death toll in the country had reached 47, while the number of the flu infected patients rose to about 1,500.

Costa Rican Health Minister Luisa Avila, in an interview with Xinhua, also said that the Costa Rican government has established a special commission to review the records of the dead who had the symptoms of the disease.

Avila said 69 death cases have been analyzed, nine deaths were ruled out by lab tests, 13 were associated with other conditions, while 47 were confirmed positive for A/H1N1 flu, six more than the last report.

The minister also said as no more cases pending for review, the death toll of A/H1N1 flu will stand at 47 by the end of 2009.

She said the health authorities expect the second wave of the pandemic will hit the country between next January and February, but with weakened impact compared with the first one.

Costa Rica has requested for a total of 1.8 million vaccines, 200,000 of which will arrive during the first week of January and 400,000 in the following week.

Avila said pregnant women and people with diabetes, hypertension and asthma will be given priority in vaccination, adding that the vaccines will be available only at the public health centers.

Costa Rica is capable of tackling the A/H1N1 flu like a developed country. "We have good hospitals, specialists and our citizens are educated," she said.

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