Belarus reports seven swine flu deaths

MINSK, November 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Belarusian Health Ministry said seven people have died from swine flu in the country, Belta news agency reported.

"Over the past two weeks, 19 people have died in Belarus from acute pneumonia, and seven of them were confirmed to have the swine flu virus," the country's chief sanitary official, Valentina Kachan, said.

The reported deaths were the first registered from swine flu in the country.

Kachan said laboratory tests had confirmed that 85 people were infected with A/H1N1 across the country, adding that 31 of them were in hospitals.

On Sunday, 59 swine flu infections were reported in the ex-Soviet republic.

The chief doctor said a seasonal growth of acute respiratory viral infections had been registered in Belarus. She said the number of infections has risen by almost 70% in the country this year as compared to the previous year, with 2,154 cases of pneumonia.

Kachan said hospitals across the country had been provided with necessary medicines, adding more than one million packs of antiviral agents would be provided to pharmacies within a month.

Meanwhile, a swine flu epidemic was declared in neighboring Ukraine where 17 swine flu cases have been confirmed, with three of them fatal.

A total of 81 people were reported to have died of influenza-like diseases in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Health Ministry said on Monday some 255,000 flu cases had been registered across the country.

Fourteen people have died from swine flu in Russia, and 3,122 other cases have been confirmed across the country as of Tuesday.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 5,700 people have died from swine flu worldwide, and the total number of officially confirmed cases has exceeded 440,000, as of October 25.


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