Bangladesh to strengthen measures after first A/H1N1 flu death of this year

19:55, April 26, 2010      

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Bangladesh on Monday said it will further strengthen measures to prevent and better combat outbreaks of A/H1N1 flu after a 34-year-old woman became the first case in the country to die from complications of the infectious disease this year.

Mahmudur Rahman, Head of the country's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) under the Health Ministry, told Xinhua on Monday, "Rumana Jahangir died on Friday after suffering from A/H1N1 flu."

According to health officials, Rumana, an assistant professor of a private university in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, had underlying health conditions that made it more difficult to fend off the flu.

Rumana Jahangir's sister, who preferred to be unnamed, said, " my sister died in an aeroplane on way to Singapore on Friday evening."

"We decided to take Rumana to Singapore for better treatment as doctors said health condition of my sister, who has undergone a cesarean operation around two weeks ago, severely deteriorated," she said, adding "Rumana died just before the plane's landing in Singapore airport."

Rumana's body has come home to Bangladesh and she has already been buried, her sister said.

The Bangladesh Health Ministry on Nov. 8, 2009 reported that the A/H1N1 flu death toll in the South Asian country rose to 6, and that the number of infected patients is 800.

Three people died until the first week of October, 2009 since June while three other died in the later October and early November period of the last year.

A 35-year old female flu positive patient in Aug. 31, 2009 died in Dhaka which was first fatality the country has had since recording its first A/H1N1 case on June 18.

The IEDCR chief Rahman said the total number of the identified flu cases in the country stood at 968 till Monday while the number of cases were 814 until December, 2009 since June of the same year.

He had earlier said that the disease had been sustaining at lower level in Bangladesh during January-March period of 2010 but this month it spread hastily infecting many across the country, posing a fresh threat of massive outbreak.

"We'll further strengthen our measures to better prevent and combat the disease," a senior health ministry official said on condition of anonymity on Monday, adding that steps are underway to launch vaccination program shortly.

He said that the Health Ministry will again ask hospitals and clinics in the country to treat anyone who displays symptoms of A/ H1N1 flu rather than waste time to have test report.

Source: Xinhua


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