Turkish health minister says eight have died of swine flu amid rise in viruses
AA PhotoEight people diagnosed with swine flu have died in Turkey, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said, amid a rise in viral infections over the past 10 days.
“The number of patients who have died after being diagnosed with the H1N1 virus is eight,” Müezzinoğlu said, answering parliamentary questions on Jan. 5.
He added that seven of these patients were in “risky groups” composed of people with weakened immunity, with five having chronic illnesses, one aged over 65, and another pregnant.
“Swine flu may result in loss of life if people with weak immune systems are infected,” Müezzinoğlu later told reporters from Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
As part of his speech at parliament, he had said groups at risk include babies up to 24 months old, people over 65 years of age, and people with chronic illnesses. Müezzinoğlu urged all those at risk to get vaccinated, underlining that free vaccinations are available.
Viral infections have been on the rise over the past 10 days, he said.
“Around a month ago, over 30 patients died of swine flu in Iran. This brought the virus back onto the agenda. We have been witnessing an increasing number of viral illness cases over the past ten days,” he added, stressing that it was important for the public to protect against the H1N1 virus, colloquially known as swine flu, by ensuring personal hygiene, adopting a healthy diet, and resting.
Meanwhile, two people suspected of suffering from swine flu have been quarantined in the Kadirli district of the southern province of Osmaniye.
The patients are members of the same family and were taken to the Kadirli State Hospital suffering from a high fever. It remains unclear whether the two are actually infected, but the hospital’s emergency room was evacuated and all patients and health personnel were given masks as a precaution.