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Half of Bulgaria Regions Face Swine Flu Epidemic

Date: 01.11.2009

Half of Bulgaria is close to a swine flue epidemic, but the 200 infected per 10 000 of the population have not yet been reached in order to officially announce it. The information was reported by Dr. Angel Kunchev, Head of the Monitoring of Infectious Diseases Department at the Bulgarian Health Ministry, cited by Dnevnik.

The most affected regions are those of Yambol, Shumen, Pleven, Lovech, Burgas, and Gabrovo while the number of people with the A(H1N1) virus in Bulgaria's largest cities of Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna is growing.

In the mountain town of Tryavna, in central Bulgaria, all 4 schools are closed and the students have been sent on a flu break, after 250 students failed to show up for classes at one of the schools. Since Tryavna is a small town with more intense contacts between local people, the Health Ministry made the decision to shut all schools. Kunchev said tests of sick children have proven they have been infected with the virus.

In the meantime, the Mathematics High School in the southern city of Yambol has also been closed after a checkup showed than from 800 students total, 270 have attended classes while feeling sick.

Kunchev reiterated warnings that people, who don't feel well should stay at home, but added the symptoms are mostly light and there is no immediate life threat for Bulgarians. He said the reason for the Tuesday fatality, when a 32-year-old man from the town of Samokov died from the A(H1N1) virus, is the complications from double pneumonia and the fact he sought medical help too late.

Doctors should prescribe the anti-virus medications available at all large hospitals in the country when there is even doubt the patient might have been infected with the swine flu virus, Kunchev said.

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