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S. Korea reports 2nd death from influenza A

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  • S. Korea reports 2nd death from influenza A

    S. Korea reports 2nd death from influenza A

    SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported its second death from influenza A on Sunday, raising concerns that the country is no longer insulated from the contagious disease that is spreading rapidly worldwide.

    The 63-year-old female resident of Seoul died from pulmonary edema, an abnormal buildup of fluid within the lungs, and multiple organ failure while receiving treatment at a local hospital, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said. Her identity has been withheld.

    Authorities presume that the patient, who first showed flu-like symptoms in late June, may have contracted the virus through so-called community transmission, as she had not traveled overseas recently.

    The patient, confirmed to have been infected with the flu on Aug. 8, did not have any prior health issues before contracting the virus, according to officials.

    On Saturday, Seoul's health authorities said that a man in his 50s died of pneumonia apparently caused by the H1N1 virus, widely known as swine flu, marking the country's first flu-related death since the first case was reported here in early May.

    Officials also reported 57 new infections earlier in the day, including eight students at an all-girls high school in Daegu, 302km southeast of Seoul.

    So far, 2,089 South Koreans have been infected with the disease but most have showed only mild symptoms and have made full recoveries. Around 400 people remain quarantined at home or state-designated hospitals.

    According to health officials, 50.1 percent of flu cases in South Korea involve inbound travelers, while 14.7 percent contracted the disease through person-to-person transmission.

    The infection rate is feared to accelerate as students currently overseas for language training or short-term holidays will return home as the summer vacation draws to an end, raising the possibility of transmission among classmates and family members, experts say.

  • #2
    Re: S. Korea reports 2nd death from influenza A

    S.Korea confirms 2nd swine flu death in two days

    16 August 2009
    SEOUL - South Korea on Sunday confirmed its second death from swine flu just a day after reporting its first fatality from the virus, officials said.
    In the second case, a 63-year-old woman in Seoul died after being infected by the A(H1N1) virus, the health ministry and the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced.
    The woman suffered from flu symptoms and pulmonary oedema late July before being confirmed on August 8 to have contracted the virus from an unidentified person in a local community, the health authorities said.
    Despite undergoing intensive medical treatment, she died Sunday of multiple organ failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome, they said.
    The prime minister?s office held an emergency inter-agency meeting Sunday to discuss the spread of swine flu, officials said.
    ?The discussion focused on measures aimed at preventing the disease from developing into a pandemic as most schools begin their new semester late this month,? a spokesman for the prime minister?s office said.
    Health authorities said they would test for swine flu all patients suffering from pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
    South Korea?s first death from the virus, reported Saturday, was a man in his 50s from South Gyeongsang province who had travelled to Thailand.
    South Korea has reported more than 2,000 cases of swine flu.


    • #3
      Re: S. Korea reports 2nd death from influenza A

      08-16-2009 17:05
      Deaths From Influenza
      It's Urgent to Prevent Further Spread of Virus

      Prevention is better than cure. But this is easier said than done at least as far as the influenza A (H1N1) virus is concerned. On Sunday, South Korea reported its second death from the pandemic flu that has been spreading across the world since its outbreak in Mexico in April.

      According to health authorities, a 63-year-old woman died from pulmonary edema and multiple organ failure while receiving treatment for influenza A at a Seoul hospital. Her death rang an alarm because she was presumed to have contracted the highly contagious disease in South Korea last month. She had not left the country for overseas travel in recent months.

      Her case only proved that the virus could produce complications that lead to death. Another problem is that it is difficult to trace her infection route, making it harder for the authorities to take immediate and effective quarantine measures. She was hospitalized on July 31 for pulmonary edema, an abnormal buildup of fluid within the lungs. On Aug. 8, she was confirmed to have contracted the flu virus.

      Her death came one day after the nation's first death from the flu virus was reported Saturday. The first victim was a 56-year-old man who returned from a trip to Thailand on Aug. 5. Three days later, he was admitted to a local hospital as he showed high fever and other symptoms of H1N1, and was diagnosed with the flu virus. He was presumed to have died of pneumonia, a complication developed by influenza A.

      The two deaths show that the country is no longer safe from the highly contagious disease which has become prevalent worldwide in a short period. We cannot overestimate the dangers of the influenza, also known as swine flu. It is necessary to step up preventive measures and to raise the level of alert in order to block the further spread of the virus and avoid another death.

      A total of 2,089 Koreans have so far been inflected with the H1N1 virus, according to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 400 people remain quarantined at home or in state-designated hospitals. The health authorities might have not been on high alert because most patients showed mild symptoms and recovered quickly. But now they must double their efforts to ensure a tighter quarantine network and a better preventive system to keep out the virus.