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Swine flu H1N1 kills nine Palestinians in West Bank

"Latest figures and information ... show that 187 cases have so far been recorded, the majority of which are in the northern West Bank," it said in a statement.

"The number of recorded deaths ... stands at nine until now."

It added that the Palestinian health ministry "has the necessary medicines, testing kits and equipment to deal efficiently with the spread of the virus".

The virus has affected Israel and the Palestinian territories in the past, killing dozens of people.

In 2009, an H1N1 epidemic erupted in Mexico and spread into a worldwide pandemic that caused at least 17,000 deaths.

In 1997, the H5N1 strain of influenza, commonly known as bird flu, broke out in Hong Kong.

Spreading from live birds to humans through direct contact, it causes fever and breathing problems and claimed 359 human lives in 15 countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, from 2003 to August of this year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Herald Sun, 30 December 2012

 

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