Swine flu outbreak claims over 300 lives in Ukraine

Kiev, Feb 19 (IANS) At least 313 people have died of influenza epidemic in Ukraine during the cold season, the country’s health ministry said on Thursday.

Health officials said most of the deaths were caused by the H1N1 flu or swine flu, but they failed to give a specified number in this regard, reports Xinhua.

The deaths occurred in all but two Ukrainian regions, with the southern Odessa region and the country’s capital city of Kiev being the hardest hit, where 40 and 37 people have died, respectively, said the statement on the ministry’s website.

All of the victims had not been vaccinated and two-thirds of them sought medical treatment too late, the statement said.

On January 16, Ukraine declared the influenza epidemic, which had been affecting 9.6 percent of the country’s population. Authorities ordered the closure of colleges, schools and kindergartens and advised people to wear protective masks in public places in an attempt to stop the virus.

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