MELBOURNE: A 71-year-old woman became the fourth swine flu-related death in Australia in a week, an official said on Friday.
Her death was the fifth in the Asia-Pacific region, with the Philippines reporting on Monday that a patient had died. Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 134 more swine flu cases were confirmed Friday, raising the country’s total to 861. The Australian woman was also the third to die with the virus in Victoria, the state where 1,509 of Australia’s 3,280 swine flu cases had been confirmed today, state acting chief health officer Rosemary Lester said. Relatives of the woman, who died Thursday, asked that no details of her medical history be revealed, Lester said.
The first three Australians who died suffered from other serious ailments, and authorities have not determined that swine flu was the direct cause of death. The first was a 26-year-old Aboriginal man with chronic heart, lung and kidney problems who died in a South Australia state hospital on Friday last week.
A 35-year-old man with severe ailments and a 50-year-old with cancer died in the Victoria state capital, Melbourne.
Lester said swine flu is generally mild, but can affect those with pre-existing medical conditions.
“We know that for people with chronic medical conditions, influenza can be severe,” she said in a statement. Malaysia’s Health Ministry confirmed 14 more swine flu cases today, bringing the country’s total to 105. It said in a statement 40 of the patients still remain in hospitals. Malaysian authorities have closed four schools because of swine flu fears, cancelled the participation of all students in sports tournaments abroad through July, and barred 100,000 health workers from going on leave indefinitely.
Indonesia recorded a new swine-flu case today, bringing its total to three. George Coltman, a 12-year-old Australian, tested positive for the virus and was being treated in Bali, said Dr Agus Somia from Sanglah hospital.
Thailand worried about a swine flu outbreak on a naval base yesterday after seven cadets tested positive and 200 more fell ill.
Press reports said Papua New Guinea’s health minister was quarantined with flu symptoms and was awaiting results of tests after visiting Australia.Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bun Heng told
reporters that three students who arrived from the US state of Texas on June 19 had tested positive for the virus. The World Health Organization said Wednesday that 55,867 swine flu cases had been recorded in more than 100 countries and contributed to 238 deaths.