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  • Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

    The group making this claim is at least slightly biased. But 40 deaths in one border town is a little alarming. Perhaps it is due to the poor health conditions (or exaggeration for political reasons). Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009...-Flu.html?_r=1

    SKorean President Offers Swine Flu Aid to NKorea
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    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: December 7, 2009
    Filed at 11:20 p.m. ET

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's president offered Tuesday to send swine flu medication to North Korea amid reports that the virus killed dozens of people and is spreading fast in its impoverished communist neighbor.

    The Seoul-based aid group Good Friends said in newsletters Monday that swine flu broke out in the North last month, and that it had already claimed the lives of about 40 people in the border city of Sinuiju, near China, and seven in the capital, Pyongyang.

    The North's state media outlets have remained silent on the reported outbreak.

    On Tuesday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak instructed the Cabinet to verify the reports and study ways to send swine flu medication to the North without any conditions, his office said in a statement.

    ''It would be good if emergency aid is provided as there are concerns that swine flu could spread rapidly,'' Lee told the Cabinet meeting, according to the statement.

    The Unification Ministry said it would consider sending a message to the North for talks on the issue.

    Lee has halted unconditional aid to the North since taking office early last year, prompting Pyongyang to suspend reconciliation talks and other joint projects in protest. Still, Lee has said he is willing to provide limited amounts of humanitarian assistance.

    The two sides remain in a state of conflict, with the 1950-53 Korean War ending in a truce, not a peace treaty.

    Good Friends, which sends food and other aid to North Korea, regularly issues newsletters on what is happening in the reclusive nation. While the group does not provide a source for its reports, some of its previous reports about accidents and natural disasters have proven reliable.

  • #2
    Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...t_12610069.htm

    S.Korea plans to help DPRK deal with A/H1N1 flu


    www.chinaview.cn 2009-12-08 11:19:27 Print

    SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday said the government plans to unconditionally offer drugs to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) if the A/H1N1 flu breaks out in the country.

    Lee made the remarks at a cabinet meeting held in the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

    There are reports about an outbreak of the new contagious disease in the DPRK. If it can be confirmed, the government should discuss ways to offer assistance to the country, Lee was quoted by Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Sun-kyoo as saying.

    The government should unconditionally offer drugs to the DPRK in dealing with the A/H1N1 virus out of humanitarian considerations, Lee said, adding that "such assistance must be provided swiftly" as the disease could quickly spread in the DPRK where "conditions are not so good."

    Meanwhile, South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said it will follow the president's instructions to coordinate with related parties on concrete measures, so as to provide assistance to the DPRK as soon as possible.

    According to the spokesman Chun Hae-sung, the top priority of the assistance is to provide antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and other medicine.

    The ministry is considering sending a message to the DPRK soon to discuss the aid measures, Chun said.

    However, until now, no official announcement or reports have come from the DPRK that the new flu has been detected, Chun said, adding that the Seoul's government also cannot confirm any report by South Korean media that the new flu has broken out in some areas of the DPRK

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    • #3
      Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

      This is from last week. It is the same town involved.

      http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%...03-183792.html

      Swine flu hits N.Korea border area


      Thu, Dec 03, 2009
      AFP



      SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AFP) - North Korean health officials have detected a swine flu outbreak in a northwestern city bordering China, an aid group said Thursday.


      The infection was found in Sinuiju, prompting authorities to take emergency countermeasures, Good Friends, a Seoul-based aid group which operates in the North, said in a newsletter.


      The number of North Korean children infected with A(H1N1) flu has been increasing because the anti-viral drug Tamiflu is rare in the communist country, the group said.



      Pyongyang has not officially reported any cases of swine flu in the country, citing an all-out campaign to prevent outbreaks.

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      • #4
        Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

        http://www.dailynk.com/english/read....00600&num=5756


        South Offers H1N1 Aid to Silent North


        By Park In Ho
        [2009-12-08 16:45 ]

        South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has offered North Korea ¡°unconditional¡± aid to ward off a rumored outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus. According to his commands, the Ministry of Unification is attempting to figure out the reality of the situation and find mutually appropriate ways to combat it.

        In a cabinet meeting this morning, President Lee told his team, ¡°Since we have heard news that the H1N1 virus is spreading in North Korea, we need to find ways to confirm the reality and help them.¡±

        Seoul-based NGO Good Friends released in its newsletter on Monday the news that the H1N1 virus is spreading quickly in North Korea.

        In November alone, three university students, two Shock Brigade members and two others are reported to have died in Pyongyang.

        They explained that hospital conditions are not helping stem the spread, ¡°The flu has been circulating in Shinuiju since early November, so the number of patients with a fever has been increasing, but it is hard to get an exact diagnosis even in hospital.¡±

        The Ministry explained that it will officially ask about the situation in the North by telephone soon, and then negotiate the best way to send aid.

        However, while North Korea is suffering from the side effects of its currency redenomination, it is doubtful whether the authorities will report the H1N1 virus situation to the South honestly, since that could cause social instability.

        In late 2005 when there was an outbreak of scarlet fever, and again when paratyphoid fever spread in 2006, the North Korean authorities held their tongue about the facts in order to avoid social unrest.

        ¡°North Korea has not yet announced officially the fact that H1N1 virus is spreading,¡± the Ministry spokesperson admitted.

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        • #5
          Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

          "About a dozen" is a long way from 47. I wish I could find the original source to see what they really reported.

          http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/nort...08700315F.HTML

          NorthKorea 2009/12/08 17:19 KST



          (2nd LD) Lee orders measures to help N. Korea deal with H1N1


          SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak ordered his government Tuesday to help North Korea deal with a possible outbreak of Influenza A, saying the disease could do serious damage throughout the impoverished state.

          "There are reports of an outbreak of the new flu in North Korea, so find ways to help North Korea after confirming the reports," the president was quoted as saying in a Cabinet meeting by his office Cheong Wa Dae.

          North Korea has not yet announced any local case of the H1N1 virus, but Good Friends, a Seoul-based aid group, said in its Monday bulletin that about a dozen people have died from the disease there. Schools started winter vacation a month early on Dec. 4 due to the rapid spread of disease, the aid group said, citing sources inside North Korea.

          Relations between the two Koreas quickly deteriorated after Lee, a conservative, was inaugurated early last year with a pledge to condition inter-Korean exchanges on progress in Pyongyang's denuclearization.

          Lee, however, said any assistance to the North in dealing with the H1N1 virus must be strictly humanitarian and unconditional, his spokesman Park Sun-kyoo said.

          "Such assistance must be provided swiftly as the disease could quickly spread in North Korea where conditions are not so good," Lee was quoted as saying.

          Seoul's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said it was considering sending a message to North Korea to discuss the aid measures, such as shipments of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and other medicine.

          "It is not saying anything -- as if there's no outbreak -- but it doesn't seem so," a Seoul intelligence official said on customary condition of anonymity.

          Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung remained cautious as "no official announcement has come from North Korea."

          North Korean media continued their usual reports of the pandemic spreading abroad. On Tuesday, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station, the radio of the North's Workers' Party, reported that 24 people in Egypt have died from the virus, citing the country's health ministry.

          During previous pandemics such as an avian flu outbreak in 2004, the isolated country promptly called for international help.

          The flu aid offer by Seoul coincides with a Pyongyang trip by Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea. He aims to bring the North back to the six-nation negotiations over its nuclear program.

          But it remains to be seen whether Pyongyang will accept the latest aid proposal. Seoul's offer of 10,000 tons of corn aid in October is still up in the air as the North has yet to respond, apparently discomforted by the small scale of the assistance.

          President Lee also called for continued efforts to contain the spread of the virus here, saying the number of new cases is dropping but that infections could surge if left unchecked.

          A total of 117 people have died from the H1N1 virus in South Korea, according to government data.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

            http://goodfriendsusa.blogspot.com/2...ot-topics.html

            Swine Flu Breaks Out in Sinuiju
            Swine flu is going around in Sinuiju North Pyongan Province. Yesterday and today primary care physicians are visiting each household to conduct epidemiological investigation. It was reported that there are more people with fever today than yesterday. The symptoms are similar to a regular flu at the onset, but it progresses into severe coughing, fever, and pain in the joints. Suh Hye-ran (alias) thought her young daughter was having a cold, but her coughing became very severe. So, she took her daughter to a doctor and learned that it was a swine flu. Ms. Suh said in frustration, “The doctor told me this is a new flu transmitted by virus from pigs and I heard that Kaesong area is completely quarantined. My daughter is now complaining about pain in the lungs. I need some kind of medicine like fever remedy, antibiotics, or vitamins, but I can’t get them anywhere.” Doctors are saying that they need a third-generation antibiotics called cefotaxime for intravenous injection even though it is not a cure for swine flu. They say at least 10 of them in penicillin bottle are needed. The medicine was traded at 1,200-1,300 NK won per bottle among individual medicine dealers, but it is difficult to obtain because all sales are suspended with the currency revaluation. The current situation requires an immediate action against the new flu virus at the national level.

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            • #7
              Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

              http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/sho...d.php?p=326944

              See also this thread. Obivously, counts are going to be doubtful because of the political situation in North Korea.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                This source reports at least 12 deaths, but is somewhat doubtful as it is not a first-hand source (it is in Spanish) and refers to a 2004 bird flu pandemic.

                http://sdpnoticias.com/sdp/contenido...12/08/4/547108

                Seoul to help North Korea to fight human influenza
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                Send Pekín, 8 Dic (Notimex).- Corea del Sur anunció hoy que ayudará a Corea del Norte a frenar la epidemia de influenza humana en el país, que puede afectar en forma significativa a su población. Beijing, 8 Dec (Notimex) .- South Korea announced today that North Korea will help stem the epidemic of human influenza in the country, which can significantly affect its population.
                "Hay informes sobre una epidemia de influenza humana en Corea del Norte, así que debemos encontrar maneras de ayudar al país tras confirmar estos datos", dijo el presidente surcoreano Lee Myung-bak durante un Consejo de Ministros. "There are reports of an outbreak of human influenza in North Korea, so we must find ways to help the country after confirming these data," said South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a Council of Ministers.

                Corea del Norte no anunció hasta la fecha ningún caso del virus A/H1N1, pero según organizaciones independientes al menos 12 personas murieron por la influenza, mientras se ordenó vacaciones anticipadas a los estudiantes para frenar las infecciones. North Korea has not announced so far no case of H1N1 virus, but independent organizations say at least 12 people died from influenza, as he ordered students to leave early to stop infections.

                Pese a las tensas relaciones entre Seúl y Pyongyang, el presidente desvinculó esta ayuda en forma de envíos de cargamentos del antiviral Tamiflu- a cualquier tipo de avance en las relaciones bilaterales. Despite strained relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, President split this up in terms of cargo shipments of the antiviral Tamiflu to any progress in bilateral relations.

                Durante la anterior pandemia de gripe aviar, registrada en 2004, norcorea se había apresurado a pedir ayuda al exterior, algo que por el momento no hizo con la influenza humana. During the previous bird flu pandemic, in 2004, North Koreans had quickly called for foreign aid, which is currently not done with human influenza

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                • #9
                  Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                  Also of note here is that according to many of the above sources, North Korea has devalued its currency in such a way that restricts commerce. Some of the sources http://www.rapidtrends.com/2009/12/0...sonal-savings/, for example suggest that a famine is imminent as well as a result.

                  Post #6 above also implies that not only is Tamiflu unavailable, so are fever reducers and even vitamins.

                  Definitely conditions that would increase the spread and the mortality of H1N1.

                  Also, note that the only article I can find that mentions the 40 deaths in Sinuiju is the AP article, not any of the local articles I can find. Perhaps they are misquoting the counts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                    The bold text at the end of the article mentions two deaths in another town.

                    http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSI...0912080071.asp

                    Seven swine flu deaths in NK

                    북한 신종플루 사망자 확산 U.S. death toll outbreak spreads


                    대북 인권단체 '좋은벗들'은 7일자 소식지에서 “평양에서 7명의 청년 층이 사망하는 등 신종 플루가 북한 곳곳에서 급속도로 확산되고 있다”고 말했다. North Korean human rights group 's joteunbeot' Newsletter 7, in which "adolescents in Pyongyang, 7 floors, including death in the outbreak rapidly spread throughout the U.S.," he said. 이 단체는 “평북 신의주에서는 최근 돌고 있는 신종 독감이 중국 단둥(丹東) 인근 국경지역에서 넘어온 전염병이라고 단정했다”고 덧붙이면서 “보안당국은 국경 출입상태를 중요하게 인식하고 단둥, 신의주 세관을 통과하는 모든 여행자에 대해 철저히 검진 대책을 세울 것을 지시했다”고 전했다. 한편 이와관련 이명박 대통령은 8일 북한을 도와줄 수 있는 방안을 모 색하라고 지시했다. The group "In the last round pyeongbuk a new flu Sinuiju China Dandong (丹东) near the border areas as the epidemic has concluded in the passed," he said adding, "security officials allowed the border states important to recognize and Dandong, Sinuiju pass through customs for all the travelers were instructed to establish a thorough screening measures, "he said. Meanwhile, President Lee Myung-bak yiwagwanryeon 8 ways to help North Korea has ordered a mother saekharago. 국무회의에서 이대통령은 "인도적인 차원에서 조건없이 치료제를 지원해 주는 것이 좋겠다"고 밝혔다 이대통령은 또 북한의 여건이 좋지 않아 급속하게 확산될 우려가 있는 만큼 긴급 지원이 이뤄지도록 하는 게 좋겠다고 강조했다. 2 President's Cabinet meeting on "The humanitarian dimension in the treatment without any conditions, to give hope and support," President Lee said North Korea is also rapidly spreading condition is not good enough to concern that emergency assistance goes to something I'd said that .



                    North Korean schools have started winter vacation a month early due to the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus in the communist country, an aid group said Monday, according to Yonhap News. North Korean schools have started winter vacation a month early due to the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus in the communist country, an aid group said Monday, according to Yonhap News.

                    Good Friends, a Seoul-based group that frequently visits the North, said North Korean schools started winter recess last Friday following a joint meeting of health and education ministry officials. Good Friends, a Seoul-based group that frequently visits the North, said North Korean schools started winter recess last Friday following a joint meeting of health and education ministry officials.

                    Most schools in the North, including colleges, usually start winter vacation in early January. Most schools in the North, including colleges, usually start winter vacation in early January.

                    Quoting a report of city education officials in Pyongyang, the group said seven North Korean youths, including three college students aged 21 and 23, died of the Influenza A virus in Pyongyang in November, while two others reportedly died in Phyongsong, north of the capital. Quoting a report of city education officials in Pyongyang, the group said seven North Korean youths, including three college students aged 21 and 23, died of the Influenza A virus in Pyongyang in November, while two others reportedly died in Phyongsong, north of the capital .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                      It is not clear where the confirmation testing was performed, but it is likely to have been sent outside the area. Given that testing structure, the tendancy is to think the confirmed cases are the fatal ones.

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/wo...orea.html?_r=2

                      North Korea Reports Swine Flu Outbreak
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                      LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalinkBy CHOE SANG-HUN
                      Published: December 9, 2009
                      SEOUL — North Korea on Wednesday acknowledged an outbreak of swine flu, as relief officials in South Korea reported that the virus had killed dozens of people in the reclusive country.

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                      North Korea’s official news agency, K.C.N.A., said nine cases had been confirmed in the capital of Pyongyang and in Sinuiju, a town near the border with China. It did not say whether there had been any deaths.

                      But the Seoul-based aid group Good Friends said about 40 people had already died after swine flu broke out in the North last month.

                      Such reports compelled the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, on Tuesday to offer to send swine flu medication to North Korea. The North has not responded to the gesture from Mr. Lee, whom it had called a national traitor for taking a hard line over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

                      The North’s health officials were stepping up “the quarantine system against the spread of this flu virus while properly carrying on the prevention and medical treatment,” K.C.N.A. said.

                      Good Friends, which gleans information on North Korea through inside informants, also said that the North Korean government was strengthening customs inspections on the border with China in an apparent attempt to contain the virus. It also said the authorities were instructing schools to start a winter vacation earlier than usual.

                      North Korea rarely acknowledges its domestic problems to the outside world, though it has recently begun accepting help from South Korean and other outside relief agencies, especially after a famine killed numerous people in the mid 1990s.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                        Can a moderator fix the spelling of "least" in the title of the thread (and pssoibly rename the thread as H1N1 is confirmed, although the counts are not confirmed, and likely won't be).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Possible H1N1 outbreak kills at lest 47 in North Korea

                          Simply disgusting.

                          http://english.donga.com/srv/service...=2009120965118

                          ‘N. Korea Importing Tamiflu for Top Officials Only’


                          DECEMBER 09, 2009 09:02
                          North Korea is known to have secured Tamiflu in the wake of its first case of H1N1 influenza reported in May, but only for high-ranking government officials.

                          The South Korean civic group for North Korean human rights Good Friends said yesterday that the North has secured large doses of vaccines against the flu and anti-viral drugs for leader Kim Jong Il and top officials through its foreign missions in Europe.


                          The North’s first case of the H1N1 flu was confirmed in early May, sources close to the communist country said. A North Korean official returning from Latin America was confirmed to have contracted the virus, but the North hid this and quarantined him.


                          Pyongyang has since enhanced quarantine measures at all entry points but failed to curb the spread of the flu.


                          Schools in North Korea also began winter vacation a month ahead of schedule, but reported deaths from the flu.


                          Voice of America said the World Health Organization is trying to find out if the H1N1 virus has affected North Korea.


                          Pyongyang is encouraging its people to take precautions against the flu but most North Koreans are unaware of the symptoms, sources said. Though patients with suspicious symptoms have appeared, clinics with outdated medical technology are unable to determine whether it is type A flu.


                          A North Korean defector who was a doctor in the North said, “A flu virus raged in August but nobody knew if it was H1N1,” adding, “Though quarantine orders were issued, medical facilities had no means of taking action. There was also no knowing whether a patient died of the H1N1 flu.”

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