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Influenza cases continue to decline in South America

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  • Influenza cases continue to decline in South America

    http://www.milenio.com/node/313096

    Influenza cases continue to decline in South America

    Despite the encouraging regional overview, which included the completion of certain preventive measures in some countries maintain alertness and even feared a fresh outbreak of influenza, due to climatic factors particular situation that is Colombia.

    Sat, 31/10/2009 - 10:55

    The South Americans have dropped their guard against the virus. Photo: ArchivoSantiago .- The number of human influenza cases continues to decline in South America with the arrival of a heat wave in the region, the southern spring, but health authorities are strict monitoring of the epidemic.

    Despite the encouraging regional overview, which included the completion of certain preventive measures in some countries maintain alertness and even feared a fresh outbreak of influenza, due to climatic factors particular situation that is Colombia.

    Colombian health authorities fear a resurgence of the epidemic, which until Tuesday had killed 131 people and two thousand 791 have been infected by the H1N1 virus that causes human flu.

    The Social Protection Ministry admitted that, before the viruses that cause respiratory infections, it was agreed to strengthen monitoring by the permanent presence of rain in November and the beginning of the dry season.

    Hardest hit by the epidemic is the Colombian capital, where 60 people have died and 510 thousand have been infected with the H1N1 virus, mostly young people, reported the corresponding ministry in its latest report.

    Paraguay's Health Ministry on Friday confirmed a new human death from influenza, bringing the death toll rose to 43, with seven thousand 728 infected across the country.

    The new victim is a male person of 55 years, and with a history of chronic heart disease, who presented symptoms and died on 15 August but only the day before the laboratory studies confirmed the presence of the virus.

    The Director of Health Surveillance, Ivan Allende, told reporters that the human influenza virus "still active", so that a possible second wave would involve increased transmissibility.

    He stressed that authorities are working intensively to prevent a greater number of infections of the disease and acknowledged that in recent weeks saw a surge in queries for influenza-like illnesses and acute respiratory infections.

    In Ecuador, the death toll from human influenza this week rose to 75, with 402 thousand infected across the country and a "low to moderate intensity and demand for health services somewhat higher than usual".

    Press reports indicated that preventive measures were reduced in Quito, so it stopped operating the thermal equipment to take the temperature of travelers who settled in the Ecuadorian capital's airport in May.

    It also lifted the restriction for the area of respiratory medicine at the hospital "Eugenio Espejo" of Quito, which had been assigned as a major focus for human influenza cases.

    In Venezuela, the latest official statistics give account of 95 dead and 910 thousand infected with H1N1 virus after evaluating more than 11 thousand people who reported flu-like symptoms.

    Officials have noted that have provided over 40 thousand free treatment against the virus, which have been applied mostly to those who have had direct contact with influenza-positive patients.

    They added that the percentage of deaths in Venezuela because the virus has decreased due to sanitary measures that have been established throughout the territory.

    In Peru, the authorities have not reported any new cases or patients, so that statistics are kept at eight thousand 305 infected and 143 dead, while in Chile added 12 thousand 257 infected with H1N1 virus and 136 deaths.

    In Argentina, people with confirmed cases of human influenza reach 10 thousand 209 and the number of dead reached 593, a "downward trend in the activity of respiratory illness" and a "low impact" on demand services health.

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