Nov 10 Here are some details about measures
taken to fight the new H1N1 swine flu, a mixture of swine, bird
and human viruses and which has killed 6,500 people globally,
according to the latest European Centre for Disease prevention
and Control (ECDC) tallies.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an H1N1
pandemic on June 11, indicating the first influenza pandemic
since 1968 was under way.
The H1N1 pandemic flu virus could kill up to 40,000 people
across Europe and be followed by seasonal flu waves that could
kill the same number, European health experts said last week.
The WHO has advised governments to prepare for a long-term
battle against the virus. Here are some details about those
measures taken around Europe.
* LATEST MEASURES BY GOVERNMENTS:
BRITAIN - Britain started a vaccination programme from Oct.
21 for high-risk patient groups including hospitalised patients,
frontline healthcare workers and young children with health
problems like asthma or other respiratory conditions.
BULGARIA - Bulgaria declared national epidemics on Nov. 6
due to the quickly rising numbers of the infected people. The
health ministry has recommended organising public events be
limited. All schools across the country have been shut down for
a week (to Nov. 13) to prevent further spread of the virus.
CROATIA - Says 50,000 additional doses of antiviral drugs
will be distributed to doctors. Vaccination started on Nov. 5
and the health authorities are urging all citizens to take part.
FRANCE - France's mass vaccination campaign against H1N1 flu
got off to a shaky start, with low take-up among hospital staff
who were first in line and allegations that government advisers
received funding from pharmaceutical firms. Vaccinations began
on Oct. 20 for front-line hospital workers. A general
vaccination programme is to start on Nov. 12.
-- France has ordered 94 million doses of anti-H1N1
vaccines, at a cost of 808 million euros ($1.2 billion), to
cover its population of 64 million.
GERMANY - Germany began a campaign to vaccinate against H1N1
two weeks ago, but has been held back by a lack of doses. The
federal states have ordered 50 million doses which are gradually
HUNGARY - Hungary has started a school vaccination campaign
and public officials, including the health minister and the
prime minister, were vaccinated on TV.
-- The country would be protected from a full-fledged
epidemic if 60 percent of the population was vaccinated,
authorities have said. The vaccine is produced locally by the
Hungarian pharmaceutical company Omninvest.
IRELAND - Ireland launched a national vaccination campaign
from Nov. 2, with priority given to people considered at risk of
developing complications, including patients with a chronic
disease and pregnant women.
NETHERLANDS - Health authorities started vaccinations of
risk groups on Nov. 9, widening initial plans to also include
children aged from 6 months up to and including four-year-olds.
-- The government bought 34 million vaccine doses, enough to
supply the population twice over, but now expects to only use 11
million doses. It plans to sell the excess to other nations.
ROMANIA - Romania's Supreme Defence Council has 1.3 million
doses of vaccine that could be used starting at the end of this
month. The interior ministry has intensified monitoring of
cross-border transit to identify potential cases of infections.
SERBIA - A government work group is discussing whether to
recommend health minister Tomica Milosavljevic declare an
epidemic throughout Serbia or in individual regions. The health
and education ministries extended a school holiday that started
on Nov. 5 until Nov 16.
-- Media has said the government is likely to purchase a
total of 3 million vaccines from Novartis. If the deal happens,
the first batch of 500,000 doses should be delivered in December
and administered to priority groups (children, elderly, patients
with chronic diseases and health workers).
SLOVENIA - Vaccination started Nov 2. Slovenia recorded its
first death from swine flu on November 3.
SWITZERLAND - Expects vaccination campaigns against H1N1
flu to start in mid-November. It has ordered 13 million doses
from GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.
UKRAINE - Parliament has approved an additional $1 billion
for medicinal supplies. Extra supplies of swine flu medicine
have begun to arrive.
-- The government has imposed measures such as a ban on
public meetings, including political rallies ahead of a January
presidential election, and closing schools for three weeks.
* SOME NUMBERS:
TOTAL REPORTED DEATHS: 6,508*
AREA TOTAL DEATHS:
EU AND EFTA COUNTRIES 414
OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES & CENTRAL ASIA 34
MEDITERRANEAN AND MIDDLE-EAST 278
NORTH AMERICA 1,517
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN 168
SOUTH AMERICA 2,742
NORTH-EAST & SOUTH ASIA 671
SOUTH-EAST ASIA 364
AUSTRALIA & PACIFIC 212
* NOTE: Deaths reported to ECDC
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;