Swine Flu update: Armenia fears first A/H1N1 death

Swine flu has apparently claimed a victim in Armenia. The Ministry of Health has confirmed that a 51-year-old man with A/H1N1 symptoms died at Yerevan’s Nork infection hospital last Friday.

Armenia’s chief infection specialist Ara Asoyan told ArmeniaNow on Tuesday that although the deceased was hospitalized with swine flu symptoms, it is early yet to confirm the cause of death. He said it could take up to three weeks before they could either certify or disprove that suspicion.

“The patient went to see the doctor on the eighth or ninth day of his illness. It is not appropriate now to say that his death was caused by swine flu. Laboratory examinations are needed to establish the cause of death,” said Asoyan.

The number of reported swine flu (suspected) cases in Armenia has reached 25. A World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory in the UK confirmed the presence of the A/H1N1 virus in the blood samples of several patients with flu symptoms sent to London in early November. Twenty-three people have reportedly overcome their condition and are now said to be well. Two people continue to receive treatment in hospital conditions.

Health officials in Armenia still insist there is no need to panic. But they also urge the population to take precautions (following hygienic rules, using medical masks, avoiding kisses and hugs, etc.).

A/H1N1 symptoms are similar to those of “common” influenza and include fever, cough, sore throat, cold, nasal congestion, headache, muscular pains, weakness; but also may include diarrhea and vomiting.

The number of WHO confirmed cases of swine flu in the world has now exceeded 525,000, of whom 6,750 people have died of the disease. So far, swine flu has been reported in 206 countries of the world.