Swine flu outbreak hits West Bank
Deputy Health Minister Asad Ramlawi said the H1N1 flu strain, also known as swine flu, has infected more than 225 people in the area. He said more than 25,000 of the West Bank's 2.5 million residents have been administered vaccinations against the illness this year, according to Fox News.
During the 2009 global swine flu pandemic, dozens of Palestinians died. The H1N1 strain is now considered a seasonal flu and is included in the standard annual flu vaccine. The World Health Organization declared the 2009 outbreak, which began in Mexico, the world's first global flu pandemic in 40 years.
In Rajasthan, India, 24 swine flu-related deaths have been reported in the last 20 days. More than 150 people have been confirmed to have contracted the illness. In response to the increasing number of cases, the Indian Medical Health and Family Welfare Department instructed public health officials to initiate preventative measures and to survey their jurisdictions for possible swine flu cases, according to IndiaTimes.com.
Norwegian hospitals have also reported a significant increase in swine flu cases. The Norwegian Public Health Institute said it is too early to declare a pandemic, but hospitals are preparing for an influx of cases nonetheless. Some have recruited additional health professionals, while others have cleared rooms in the expectation of new cases.