10/07/2009, 00.00
CHINA - TIBET
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Tibet, first victim of swine flu. Beijing sends 200 thousand doses of vaccine to Lhasa

It was a girl of 18 in hospital since October 3 with a high fever, cough and inflammation of the airways. With the arrival of winter mass vaccination campaign underway in the country. WHO estimates speak of more than 340 thousand cases of infection and 4 thousand deaths throughout the world.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) – There has been a first death from swine flu in Tibet. It was announced by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, according to which the victim is a girl of 18 from Maizhokunggar County, under the jurisdiction of Lhasa. Ahead of winter, the authorities have launched a campaign of mass vaccination to contain the spread of the virus.

On 3 October she was hospitalized in the county public hospital with high fever, cough, inflammation of the respiratory tract and muscle pain. Overnight her condition deteriorated, with peaks of fever at 40 °. The patient died at 3:20 on Sunday 4 October, despite efforts by health workers who had administered - without specifying the type - antivirals and antibiotics.  

In a brief note, the Ministry for Health in Beijing confirms "our first death caused by the new flu”, but does not add further details. The death of the young woman was communicated to the leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO), while the authorities have sent 200 thousand doses of vaccine to Lhasa, to contain the spread of the virus.

Sources from the Chinese government report more than 21 thousand cases of infection with swine flu in the country by the end of September, of which about 17 thousand have recovered fully and only 13 have presented serious complications related to the virus.   The latest figures from WHO - updated to October 2 - talk of 340 thousand cases of infection around the world, with a death toll of just over 4 thousand. Cases of swine flu in Southeast Asia are more than 33 thousand, with about 400 deaths. In the Western Pacific there are 96 thousand infections and 383 deaths, in the Middle East just over 12 thousand cases of infection and 74 victims.

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