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Homeland Security

Russia's swine flu death toll climbs to five

RIA Novosti


KRASNOYARSK, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - A woman has died of swine flu in the Siberian Krasnoyarsk region, bringing Russia's death toll in the pandemic to five people, the regional health minister said on Thursday.

"A 39-year-old woman has fallen victim to the flu pandemic. She was taken to hospital in critical condition on Wednesday. Doctors were unable to save her," Vadim Yanin said.

Three fatalities from the virus were reported in the east Siberian city of Chita and one in Moscow on Tuesday.

Russia's regions in the Far East and east Siberia near Mongolia and China have been the worst hit by the A/H1N1 virus, which originated in Mexico in April and has since spread worldwide, killing at least 5,000 people.

The first swine flu victims in Russia were women aged 29 and 50. The younger woman was eight months pregnant, and doctors were unable to save the baby, local officials said.

About 1,900 swine flu cases have so far been confirmed in Russia. Top epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko said the swine flu cases began growing considerably in October, traditionally the time for a seasonal flu outbreak.

The country plans to start a swine flu vaccination program in December. Ten million people - medical staff, employees at electric power and water treatment plants and other facilities - will be initially inoculated against the flu. Another 30 million will be vaccinated if the virus spreads.

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