H1N1 death toll rises to 74 with death of six last week

The China Post news staff

Six people infected with influenza A (H1N1) virus died last week, raising the nation’s total influenza casualties since July 2010 to 74. All six patients were male, unvaccinated, with ages ranging from two to 84. A total of 183 patients aged from two to 89 years old have been confirmed to have severe seasonal influenza infection in the last two weeks alone, of those, only 10 specimens had received vaccination, according to Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Beside the typical influenza symptoms, the outbreak this winter so far also seemed to have been the source of severe coughing and even the loss of vocal cord functions, CDC said. Despite slight decline in the number of reported infection cases lately, “we’re not out the woods, yet,” said Deputy Director Chou Chih-hao (周志浩) of the CDC. “Excessive holiday travel might have exacerbated the spreading of infections during the holiday season.” Of the 74 deaths since July last year, 44 were confirmed to have been caused by influenza A (H1N1) virus, 28 by influenza A (H3N2) infections, and two cases by influenza B. The CDC also recorded about 30,000 cases, or 20.66 percent, of the emergency room visits and 107,000 out-patient visits last week made by patients presenting influenza-like symptoms.