Dutch AH1N1 flu death toll rises to 10
The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has announced that another four people have died of AH1N1 influenza this week.The Netherlands - The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has announced that another four people have died of AH1N1 influenza this week. They are a girl aged 4, a boy aged 6, a 25-year-old man and a woman of 56. Three of them were suffering from other ailments as well. Their deaths bring the flu toll to 10.
Still a mild epidemic
RIVM also said in its weekly report that another 131 people have been admitted to Dutch hospitals with AH1N1 infections. That is more than double the previous week's admissions, but RIVM maintains that the flu epidemic is a mild one. The number of people contacting their family doctor with flu symptoms has remained stable.
A vaccination programme to combat the flu will begin in two weeks. People who qualify will be inoculated twice, although the World Health Organisation says once is enough. It is still being investigated whether children under the age of ten do need two injections.
Getting seasonal flu helps
Meanwhile, a team of Dutch scientists of Rotterdam's Erasmus University suggested in the British medical journal Lancet that children should skip this year's regular flu shot, and take just the AH1N1 vaccine. People who contract a seasonal flu show more resistance to the pandemic flu virus, the scientists say, referring to research into the 1957 flu pandemic. Other health experts rejected the Dutch scientists' point of view, saying it is imprudent to change the current vaccination procedures at such short notice.