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AH1N1: Italy statrs with vaccinations

Vaccinations against the H1N1 flu will start shortly and some 8.6 million people will have been vaccinated by the end of the year.

The first vaccinations will go to essential service workers (health, police, fire and rescue) as well as people with chronic illnesses.

A second phase, from February, will cover young people from two to 20 and pregnant women.

Health officials said that 16 new cases of the H1N1 flu had been confirmed in Italy, bringing the total to 146.

Five of the cases were said to have been part of ''family clusters'' while the others were who had recently visited America.

None of the 16 were said to be in any danger.

Although the flu, also known as Influenza A or swine flu, originated in Mexico, it has spread the most in the US, where the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) said there have been 33.902 confirmed cases and 170 fatalities.

The WHO report, issued before Italy had confirmed its last six cases, said there were currently 89,921 cases worldwide, while the death toll had risen to 382.

Mexico has had 10,262 cases and 119 fatalities. Canada has had 7,983 cases and 25 deaths while Argentina has had 26 deaths.

In Europe, Britain has recorded the highest number of cases (7,447) and three deaths, followed by Spain (760) and one death, Germany (470) and France (300).

Last month WHO upgraded the flu to its highest level, 6, and said it was now classified as a pandemic, although its severity level was moderate.

by S. C.
16 july 2009, World News > Italy