Oz swine flu death toll rises to 95

August 11th, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Brisbane (Australia), Aug.11 (ANI): With two more swine flu-related deaths recorded in Queensland and three in Western Australia, health authorities said on Tuesday that the national death toll from the epidemic has risen to 95.

A world-first trial of a swine flu vaccine in children began in Australia on Monday with the results expected to be known within weeks.

“It is currently recommended that antivirals be used for vulnerable people, including children, and those who rapidly deteriorate, to help reduce their symptoms,’ said Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Jim Bishopin a statement on Tuesday.

“However, the evidence is still developing on how effective antivirals are in preventing severe complications,’ he added.

An AAP report said that a 78-year-old woman who died at the Caboolture Hospital and 52-year-old man had died at Cairns Hospital.

Both were in groups considered vulnerable to swine flu and had complications from other health problems, Queensland Health authorities were quoted, as saying.

There have been 20 deaths related to swine flu in Queensland. There are also 109 people with swine flu currently hospitalised, including 43 in intensive care.

Another woman died in her Adelaide home after she had tested positive for swine flu.

The woman is the ninth person in South Australia to die with the H1N1 influenza virus.

SA Health was made aware of the death by a pathologist from Forensic Science SA.

A SA health spokesman said the exact cause of death would be determined by the Coroner as the woman was not being treated in hospital at the time of her death.

There have been 4,253 confirmed cases of swine flu in South Australia.

There are 46 patients with swine flu in hospital in South Australia - seven of whom are in intensive care.

Western Australia’s Health Department yesterday confirmed another three deaths linked to swine flu, bringing the total number of deaths associated with virus to eight.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus in the state has now passed 3,000.

Influenza - A (H1N1) (earlier know as swine flu) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people.

First detected in Mexico in April, 2009, it has spread to many countries in the World. Swine flu is basically a misnomer. This was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to those found in pigs in North America.

Further on, it has been found that this new virus has gene segments from the swine, avian and human flu virus genes. The scientists calls this a ‘quadruple reassortant” virus and hence this new (novel) virus is christened “influenza-A (H1N1) virus.”

It is causing an epidemic among humans in Mexico and it has spread to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA. (ANI)

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