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Swine flu tally tops 1,000

The number of confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu in Switzerland and Liechtenstein has reached 1,019.

There have been 24 outbreaks overall, eight of which were in holiday spots, according to the new figures released by the Federal Health Office on Friday. Other centres of infection were among families and at sporting events.

Since July, 18 sufferers have been hospitalised, some for complications arising from the flu and others among risk groups such as pregnant women. One person was treated in intensive care.

In canton Neuchâtel, where there have been 50 confirmed cases, the health authorities have decided to change their strategy to cope with the expected rise in infections in Switzerland, and as of Monday suspected cases will be seen by general practitioners as opposed to hospital emergency services.

The Federal Health Office noted that the risk of infection had risen along with the geographical spread of the virus and the growing number of confirmed cases. However it recommends those people in a stable condition to stay at home and only those at risk of complications to contact their doctors.

A parliamentary public health commission recommended also on Friday that vaccinations against the flu be partially or fully reimbursed.

The first vaccines are expected to be delivered in September and will be first administered to people at risk of complications.

The A/H1N1 flu pandemic has led to 2,200 deaths in 177 countries. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR