Azerbaijan strengthens swine flu prevention

By: Amina Nazarli

Swine flu fatal cases are gaining momentum, damaging more countries and people throughout the world and affecting more than 18,500 people, according to the World Health Organization.

The situation with the swine influenza in Azerbaijan is under the control and no cases both among people and animal have been reported until now, the Health Ministry reported.

Some countries neighboring Azerbaijan already afflicted the deadly virus, which infected more than 170 people in Turkey with 57 victims from the beginning of the year.

Over the past weeks some seven people were diagnosed with the H1N1 flu in Azerbaijan’s western neighbor Georgia.

Azerbaijan’s relevant agencies are taking all the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease across the country.

Now, all metropolitan and regional medical institutions have been put on full “combat” readiness to repulse the attack of deadly flu.

The Health Ministry ordered to allocate special chambers for hospitalization patients with suspected swine flu, to provide personnel with protection equipment, and implement disinfection work.

National airlines AZAL is also strengthening measures to prevent penetration H1N1 by air transport from Iran, where the virus left 40 people dead in the past three weeks.

AZAL has prepared special newsletters entitled “The first symptoms of swine flu” for its employees, including those working on the Baku-Tehran-Baku flight.

The personnel has also informed about the procedures needed to be taken when confronted with similar symptoms.

The country’s State Customs Committee has also switched to enhanced mode. So far, the Committee has reported no cases with swine influenza while crossing the border.

Azerbaijani doctors already have the experience with this virus, when first case of H1N1 was revealed in the country in 2009. At the time more than 10 people were affected the virus.

No death toll from the disease has been reported in Azerbaijan so far and all the patients were recovered after appropriate care.

Swine flu, which first detected in the United States in April 2009, could spread rapidly to reach other continents. H1N1 virus is a unique combination of influenza virus genes never previously identified in either animals or people. H1N1 is distributed by airborne transmission and its symptoms are high fever and pyrexia.