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Swine Flu Death Toll Puts Greek Officials on Alert

by Kathy Jones on February 22, 2011 at 8:58 PM
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 Swine Flu Death Toll Puts Greek Officials on Alert

The public must remain vigilant against swine flu that has so far killed 93 people, health officials in Greece warned. They also pointed to low vaccination ratios and suggesting the elderly are more at risk.

"The country is going through a phase of high seasonal flu activity," the state centre for disease control (Keelpno) said in a statement, adding that the potentially deadly H1N1 virus strain was "predominant".

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It noted that 126 people were currently in hospital with confirmed flu symptoms and that only a small number of health staff and high risk groups had taken vaccines.

"This virus strain can cause serious illness even to young individuals without prior risk causes," the centre said.

In a number of serious cases patients had apparently underestimated the symptoms and were late in taking medication, it said.
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The Greek interior minister was among those who caught the virus and took time off to recuperate last week according to reports.

The average age of flu patients has increased to 54 years, Keelpno said, increasing the probability of high-risk elderly individuals falling ill.

Some 150 people had died in Greece from swine flu last year.

Source: AFP
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