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Swine flu kills three people in Georgia, no risk of epidemic

January 21, 2016, 9:35 UTC+3 TBILISI
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TBILISI, January 21. /TASS/. Three people have died of swine flu in Georgia over the past three weeks, the head of the country’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said on Thursday.

"In January 2016, three death cases caused by the H1N1 virus were confirmed by laboratory tests," Amiran Gamkrelidze said, adding that all three victims were male citizens of western Georgia.

The patients who died were all in the risk group, had complications and sought medical assistance far too late, he said.

The head of the research council of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Paata Imnadze, told reporters there was no risk of the swine flu epidemic.

Georgia’s Health Minister David Sergeenko has also warned citizens against panic. Medical aid centers in Tbilisi and some other cities in Georgia are currently on alert for the virus.

According to Georgia’s health ministry, the swine flu virus in Georgia killed 35 people between 2009 and 2012. Several other death cases due to the H1N1 virus were also registered in the following years.

Swine flu is the popular name for influenza caused by a relatively new strain of influenza virus A. It was responsible for the flu pandemic in 2009. The virus is officially known as influenza virus A/H1N1.

Swine flu is contagious, and it spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu. The most serious complication of the flu is pneumonia, leading to fatal cases.

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