Netherlands reports third mutant swine flu death

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The third victim was a woman suffering from additional ailments.

The Netherlands – A third person in the Netherlands has died after being infected with a mutant variant of the A(H1N1) flu.

The National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reports that the woman from Kaatsheuvel in the south of the country was suffering from additional ailments.

Two patients who died earlier were also in poor health and had weakened immune systems. Under such conditions, the virus has more time to mutate and the Tamiflu medication loses its effectiveness.

The original variant of A(H1N1) has taken 42 lives since the flu began to spread in the Netherlands in April. The National Institute for Public Health has classed the epidemic as "mild and dropping in intensity".

The Amphia hospital in the southern city of Breda is disregarding the advice of the Dutch Health Council to inoculate its staff against the fever twice.

The hospital said European research shows that healthy adults are sufficiently protected after a single injection with the vaccine.

Staff who insist on a second jab, however, will be given one, the Amphia added.

The National Institute of Public Health agreed hospitals are free to make their own decisions, but regretted the confusion that may be caused.

The RIVM emphasised that the two-jab rule continues to apply to children and people with health problems who have been called up by their family doctor.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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