H1N1 claims two more lives in Latvia

Two more deaths associated with the H1N1 flu virus have been reported in Latvia, the state-run Infectology Center of Latvia reported Nov. 25. In addition, the center has noted a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed cases of the illness.

The latest deaths were of a 49-year-old man in Rīga and a 60-year-old woman in Jēkabpils. Both of them were identified as being in the high-risk group and had suffered from chronic illnesses. As a result, flu symptoms were elevated in both patients, according to spokeswoman Liene Johansone.

The first death from H1N1 complications was reported Nov. 9 in Rīga and involved a 56-year-old woman who had caught the flu while visiting the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

The number of confirmed cases of H1N1 flu has risen dramatically in the past three weeks, according to data reported by the infectology center. While just 88 cases of the flu had been confirmed through Nov. 5, another 658 were added to the tally from Nov. 6 through Nov. 24.

The infectology center issued a reminder that H1N1 symptom and seasonal flu symptom are similar. Persons who feel ill should contact their family physician and limit contact with other people.

In its latest bulletin on the spread of the H1N1 flu in Europe, the World Health Organization noted that the intensity of the pandemic is at medium in Latvia and Estonia, but has risen to high in Lithuania.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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