Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WHO Says Confirmed H1N1 Deaths Worldwide Reach 1,799

According to the latest WHO report out Wednesday, the number of confirmed H1N1 (swine) flu deaths since its emergence in April has reached 1,799 - a jump from 1,462 deaths since the agency's last update, Agence France-Presse/the Australian reports. The WHO report also notes Ghana, Tuvalu and Zambia became the latest countries to confirm H1N1 cases for the first time, bringing the total number of countries with H1N1 to over 170 (8/20).
Also on Wednesday, the total number of deaths from H1N1 in Latin America rose above 1,300 - "more than 70 percent of the world's fatatlities" - after the country governments reported updates, the AFP reports in a separate story. "With vaccines against swine flu still more than a month away from being available -- and wealthy countries snapping up all available pre-orders from the big drug companies -- Latin American nations are looking at ignoring patents to produce their own," the news service writes, adding, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner on Tuesday appealed for pharmaceutical companies to "drop patent protection for their vaccines." "Given the laboratories' confession that they can't produce enough A(H1N1) flu vaccine for the whole world, the economic rights should be suspended to protect the health of mankind," Kirchner said (8/19).

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