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Swine flu pandemic still on the increase

The number of swine flu cases continues to rise in Switzerland and the pandemic is expected to worsen over the next few days.

Children and youths have been particularly hard hit, according to the health authorities.

"It is in line with the situation in neighbouring countries," said Daniel Koch of the Federal Health Office. He added the peak has not been reached yet.

More than 2,400 confirmed new A/H1N1 influenza cases have been recorded by medical laboratories over the past week.

The number of people admitted to hospital with swine flu has reached 123, up 24 since Monday.

Koch said a total of 28 patients were in intensive care, mainly people with a previous medical condition.

Four people have died of the flu so far, according to health officials.

The vaccine campaign against swine flu is picking up speed, with no major cases of side-effects. Logistical problems in distributing the vaccine have been resolved, according to the head of the vaccination section, Virginie Masserey.

She said about three million doses of three different vaccines were now available and doctors had begun to immunise people who do not belong to risk groups, including the chronically ill, pregnant women and young children.

Overall Switzerland has ordered a total of 13 million doses, but vaccinations remain voluntary.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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