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Italy gets first victim of new flu

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Italy gets first victim of new flu


Second man in serious but stable condition

(ANSA) – Naples, September 4 – Italy got its first victim of the new flu Friday when a 51-year-old man with serious pre-existing medical problems died in Naples.

The major cause of his death were his existing severe heart condition and diabetes, said the Naples hospital where he died at midnight.

The Naples native, identified only as D.G., had never been abroad and had been in and out of hospitals because of his health problems, the hospital said.

When he was admitted with the new flu – also called Influenza A or wine flu – doctors gave him little or no chance of surviving.

”Anything could have killed him,” said the head of Italy’s association of GPs, Giacomo Milillo, when asked to comment on the death.

”Influenza A was the straw that broke the camel’s back but any other infection would have led to the same tragic conclusion”.

”This shows that the virus is not lethal or even dangerous for healthy people”.

Another Italian man, a 24-year-old from Parma, remained in a Monza hospital Friday in a serious but stable condition after beating the virus but getting lung complications.

”The situation is unchanged, we haven’t lost a centimetre of what we gained,” Lombardy Health Councillor Luciano Bresciani told ANSA.

He said the hospital would do two days of tests to make sure the virus had left the body of the man, identified as F.F..

Before D.G.’s condition deteriorated this week, there were fears F.F. would become Italy’s first victim of the new flu. Italy will start vaccinating for the virus in mid-November and expects the flu to peak around Christmas with up to three million people affected.

The opening of the school year later this month will not be put off but schools will be shut down if three or more kids get sick.

The virus is slower and less serious than expected, Health Undersecretary Ferruccio Fazio said this week.

Italy has had 2,000 H1N1 cases so far, mostly contracted abroad and only a few serious, while in Europe 43,153 cases have been reported and 93 deaths.

Worldwide the number of cases is believed to be near 200,000 while deaths number over 1,800.

The rise in cases has slowed in Europe lately but the figures are expected to take off again when a new, more virulent strain of the virus arrives in the autumn.

The upward trend of HINI flu in Italy is ”in line with expectations,” the health ministry said last week.

Vaccinations of some 40% of the population, starting with 2-27-year-olds and essential service workers, will begin on November 15.

About 8.5 million vaccinations will be made in a first stage and 16 million in the second phase from January 31.

Inserito da Alberto Del Grosso

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