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|Topic: Portugal Swine Flu deaths rise to sixteen|
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| Topic: Portugal Swine Flu deaths rise to sixteen
Posted: November 27 2009 at 9:08am
Swine Flu deaths rise to sixteen
Health Minister Ana Jorge this week confirmed that so far 16 people have died from the A H1N1 flu virus, amongst whom was a pregnant women, and that death tolls are no longer updated on a daily basis as “informing the families is enough”.Speaking just before the Pfizer awards ceremony, held in Lisbon’s Faculty of Medicine earlier this week, Minister Jorge told the press “We have 16 deaths registered from A H1N1 flu. In none of the cases was the flu the reason of death, but the person also had it”.
The Health Minister took the opportunity to reaffirm the safety of the recently-introduced vaccine, addressing the deaths of two foetuses shortly after the mothers had been administered the injection.
“Investigations carried out by the European Agency for Medicines (EMEA) confirmed there was no direct relation between the foetal deaths and the vaccine.
“We need pregnant women to be vaccinated, because we do not want more pregnant people to die. They comprise a high-risk group and we have already had one death”, she stressed.
Minister Jorge continued “There are more women who have had their babies and are in intensive care, their lives are at risk and the vaccine is effective in preventing these types of situations”.
She further explained the reasons as to why the Ministry for Health has stopped informing the population on a daily basis of the number of deaths in Portugal relating to Swine Flu.
“It no longer makes sense that all deaths are reported. Every day ill people die in hospital with other pathologies, and we don’t tell the nation. Informing the families is enough”.
The EMEA has closed its investigations into the possible link between the A H1N1 flu virus vaccine and deaths of foetuses after the recent deaths of two unborn babies in Portugal. It was considered ‘unlikely’ that the vaccination caused the death of the foetuses.
The second foetus to die after its 29-year-old mother was injected with the anti-viral drug was being autopsied this week in Portalegre. Family members reportedly said the 39-week foetus died after being strangled by the umbilical cord.
A third similar case is believed to have occurred at Leiria’s Santo André Hospital, though is unconfirmed.
Meanwhile, endorsing the vaccination, President of the Portuguese Republic Cavaco Silva was administered the A H1N1 flu vaccine on Tuesday this week. The Portuguese President is considered a priority by Health Authorities and was included in Group A, which comprises, amongst others, pregnant women in their second and third terms, and members of the sovereignty.
"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."
-- Ben Franklin
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