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Georgia: HIN1 Virus Taking Toll on Georgia

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  • Georgia: HIN1 Virus Taking Toll on Georgia

    http://www.swineflunews.org/news/wir...p?newsid=19593

    The Georgian times: Community

    HIN1 Virus Taking Toll on Georgia


    Ramaz Bezhanidze, 27, died of pneumonia caused by swine flu on Saturday in Batumi.

    Three more people in the Tbilisi Hospital for Infections are in a critical condition on artificial respiration.

    A pregnant woman with the disease has also had to have a caesarean
    to protect the life of mother and baby. While the baby is alright his mother is still in a grave condition.

    Minister of Health Sandro Kvitashvili explained that in all of these cases the patients did not consult doctors timeously or refused in-patient treatment.

    ?I am urging people once again to turn to doctors immediately and obey their instructions, whether its taking pills or undergoing hospitalisation. This is how we can prevent fatalities,? he said.

    According to Minister 40,000 cases of flu-like disease were reported in November and December and 1,500 people were hospitalised. A total of 460 cases of the H1N1 virus, swine flu, have been detected in Georgia in total.

    32 children were receiving medical treatment in Tbilisi's Iashvili Clinic for children on Friday. 22 of them were taking Tamiflu. 13 of them had tested positive for swine flu while 19 had shown similar symptoms. Some 42 patients had applied to this clinic in just a day and ten of them had presented symptoms of the dangerous virus.

    Paata Imnadze, Head of National Centre for Disease Control, has said that every flu case in Georgia is possible swine flu as H1N1 has replaced the seasonal virus. He added that everyone with a temperature and breathing problems should immediately call a doctor. People contracting swine flu show the same symptoms as those with ordinary flu, like a headache, chills, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, runny nose, temperature etc. Calling a doctor out from the policlinics to examine a potential swine flu case is now free. Tbilisi Municipality is providing funding to cover the costs of providing this service, as previously patients had to pay 12-20 GEL for a doctor?s visit at home. Over 1,000 doctors will be providing this service for four months. Under the terms of the Municipality's funding primary laboratory tests and medicine are free but in-patient treatment will be paid for.

    The announcement of the first laboratory-confirmed case in Sagarejo has caused panic in Kakheti. A 12-year old child from the village of Kandauri has been hospitalised in Tbilisi. Classes were disrupted and pupils did not attend school the next day. A 40-year old woman who had symptoms of the virus also died in Sagarejo last week. Minister of Health Sandro Kvitashvili denied she had died of swine flu but people are still sceptical.

    Koka Pruidze, the Deputy Health Minister, said that hospitals are ready to receive a great number of patients but there is no such need currently. Zurab Utiashvili, Head of the Health Ministry?s Department for Emergencies, said that only a few policlinics had asked for the anti-viral Tamiflu so far. ?There is no limit on available medicines and we are ready to supply the required amount if necessary. There are two viruses circulating in Georgia currently, a seasonal flu and H1N1. The number of patients has increased more because of fear than health status. Moreover, people in the capital seem more scared than in the regions,? he added.

    Health Minister Sandro Kvitashvili said Georgia is still on the verge of an epidemic. ?We will declare an epidemic when 1,100 people per 100,000 people are infected. We currently have 850 flu patients per 100,000 people.? In an earlier interview with The Georgian Times, Shota Tsanava, Deputy General Director of the National Centre for Disease Control, had said that the Centre would declare the presence of a pandemic when the rate exceeded 500 per 100,000 people.

    By GT Staff
    2009.12.14 13:23
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