Suspected H1N1 flu kills 5 in Libya

Updated: 2013-03-13 12:47


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TRIPOLI - Five deaths have been confirmed among the 29 suspected cases of influenza A (H1N1) virus infections in Libya, Health Minister Noor Eddin Dughman told a press conference Tuesday.

According to the health ministry, four deaths were reported in the eastern city of Darnah and the other in Zawyia city, some 50 km west of Tripoli. And patients from 10 other suspected cases have been hospitalized in Tripoli.

Mohamed Bu Ghalya, director of Libya's communicable diseases center, told Xinhua that symptoms of the infections include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, and some patients even fell into a coma.

All medical institutions in Libya are geared for the epidemic and patients will receive prompt medical treatment before results of laboratory tests come out, said Ghalya.

The H1N1 virus, which caused a global pandemic in 2009 and 2010, has now transformed into a seasonal flu virus, a "hybrid" of a number of swine and avian flu viruses.