Ramallah, 22 Shafar 1434 H/4 January 2013 (WAFA/MINA) – Eleven people have died from swine flu epidemic, known also as H1N1, that hit the West Bank since the start of the winter season, the Ministry of Health said in a report on Thursday.

       The latest two victims, an elderly man and a baby part of a triplet who had health problems, died on Wednesday.

       Most of the deaths were from the Jenin area where four people died, said the report. Two were from Tulkarm and one each from Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Qalqilya and Tubas.

       The ministry said 323 people were treated with the H1N1 virus, with more than 50 of them in Ramallah.

       Ministry officials said the epidemic is not serious but that people most vulnerable to the disease, mainly children under five, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic illness, should take extra precautions during the flu season.

       They said flu vaccination has run out and that the ministry has asked for more vaccines from the World Health Organization, which should arrive in few days.

       The West Bank has been struck by swine flu before. Dozens died in the Palestinian territories during the 2009 worldwide pandemic.

       The first outbreak was discovered in Mexico in March 2009. Thousands died around the world, causing a global panic. The World Health Organization declared swine flu the first global flu pandemic in 40 years.

       H1N1 is now considered a seasonal flu and included in the standard annual flu vaccine.(T/R-009/R-006)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)



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