First swine flu death in the Netherlands

5th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

A 17-year-old boy died overnight, Dutch health officials reported on Tuesday.

The Hague – The Netherlands reported its first swine flu death after a 17-year-old boy died overnight, health officials said on Tuesday.

"The boy had been very sick. He died last night," Harald Wychgel, a spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment told AFP.

The teenager had already been sick when he contracted the flu.

At the request of the victim's family, Wychgel would not say whether or not the teenager had died in hospital or how he contracted the A(H1N1) virus. To date, 663 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the virus, Wychgel added.

Nine have been hospitalised since the first diagnosis, that of a three-year-old, was made on April 30. Some have since been discharged.

The Dutch health department, meanwhile, announced it was making available 144,000 doses of the Tamiflu treatment to pharmacies countrywide to administer to swine flu patients for free.

The country had five million doses of Tamiflu in hand for a population of 16.5 million people, said health spokesman Toon van Wijk.

A total of 34 million doses of swine flu vaccine had been ordered, he added, the first batch of which was expected to arrive in October. The vaccine has to be administered in two doses.

A national vaccination plan will be unveiled on September 1.

"Just as with regular flu, there are occasional victims. But we are doing what we can to limit the number," health minister Ab Klink said in a statement.

AFP / Expatica

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