H1N1 virus claims 50th life in Taiwan: official

Friday, September 3, 2010

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A 50-year-old man from southern Taiwan died of influenza A (H1N1) two days ago, bringing the number of H1N1 deaths in Taiwan to 50 since the outbreak of the flu strain early last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.

According to CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw, the latest victim had chronic high pressure and cirrhosis of the liver.

He went to the doctor on Aug. 23 with a fever, cough and sore throat, Chou said.

The man was rushed to hospital in Kaohsiung on Aug. 28 as he was having difficulty breathing. He was confirmed to be H1N1 positive on Aug. 30 and died the next day, Chou said.

About 10 days ago, a 4-year-old boy died of H1N1 and there has been one death per week on average in the last two months, Chou said.

Most of the fatalities have been young children or middle-aged people, he added.

Of the 50 H1N1 deaths to date, 49 were people who had not been vaccinated against the virus, he said, again urging the public to get the vaccine.

Taiwan has touted its fight against H1N1 as a success, mainly because of a national inoculation program that was launched late last year, under which 25 percent of the country's total population has been immunized.

According to CDC tallies, there are still 5.8 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine available, 2.7 million of which will expire at the end of September.

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