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Ministry of Health doesn’t know how many Belarusians suffer from swine flu

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Ministry of Health doesn’t know how many Belarusians suffer from swine flu

Despite of the epidemic, only children under 2 with acute respiratory viral infection and persons who have a grave form of flu are tested in laboratories for swine flu.

We remind that recently an interview with emergency physician from Dobrush district hospital Yauhen Lapanau was published in mass media. According to him, the rate of pneumonia cases is growing like a snowball.

The physician explained that the illness is following a usual pattern of flu. It starts with weakness and general discomfort, fever, shortness of breath, coughing, muscle pain, there can be nausea and vomiting, absence of appetite, diarrhea. “A person addresses us when one feels shortness of breath, has coughing, and the most dangerous symptom when one has sputum with blood, which is a confounding factor which shows that lung tissue is being destroyed,” the emergency physician named the symptoms.

Two days after the interview was published, during “Choice” (“Vybor”) talk-show on ONT TV channel, Deputy minister of health and chief sanitary officer Valyantsina Kachan expressed surprise that doctors working immediately in hospitals say that there is a great number of acute pneumonias and unexpectedly high numbers of hospitalized: “When they say that health professionals were taken aback, they are bluffing a little,” “Belorusskiye novosti” informs.

Valyantsina Kachan stated: “One cannot say that all pneumonias in Belarus are viral ones now”. According to her, the problem rather is that several virus types resistant to antibiotics and antiviral drugs have appeared.

According to the Health Care Ministry, by November 23, 179 cases of swine flu had been confirmed by laboratories, including 153 cases during the period of epidemic. Over the period of monitoring flu of A type (including swine flu) was found in 22% of cases, B – in 3.3% of cases, parainfluenza – 8.2%, respiratory syncytial virus in 17.7% of cases.

As of November 19, swine flu virus was officially found in 13 persons who died from pneumonia. All of them had mixed infection. The Health Care Ministry does not provide any other information.

Valyantsina Kachan underlined importance of taking in consideration that children aged 0-2 with acute respiratory viral infection and persons who have a grave form of flu are tested for swine flu in laboratories. So even the Health Care Ministry cannot say exactly how many Belarusians had А/H1N1 flu.

Meanwhile, a tender for flu vaccine deliveries to Belarus has been put out, as said by Kachan, has been announced. The vaccine is expected to be received in the end of November – beginning of December.