Friday, August 7, 2009

Saudi swine flu death toll reaches 7

Updated on : Friday, August 7, 2009

RIYADH: A Saudi disabled girl has died from swine flu, pushing the kingdom's flu death toll up to seven, the healthy ministry said on Thursday.

The 12-year-old girl, who died on Wednesday two days after being admitted to hospital in al-Hasa, in Eastern Province, was suffering from an underdeveloped central nervous system, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official news agency.

On Tuesday, the ministry announced the death of a Sri Lankan man and a Saudi teenager from swine flu.

The ministry said on Friday that total A(H1N1) flu infections in the kingdom were nearing 600.

The government said it was doubling surveillance efforts as the peak season approaches for the umrah, or lesser pilgrimage, to the Muslim holy places of Mecca and Medina in the west of the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are expected to undertake the umrah during the fasting month of Ramadan which starts later in August, heightening fears of the virus spreading.

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