Swine flu cases jump to 330
PANAMA. Cases of influenza A H1N1, better known as swine flu, increased to 330 in Panama this week, according to health authorities. A...
PANAMA. Cases of influenza A H1N1, better known as swine flu, increased to 330 in Panama this week, according to health authorities. Almost two-thirds of the cases are people aged 15 and younger.
The Health Ministry had previously announced 277 cases on Monday, denoting that total cases jumped by 53 in the span of only days.
Of the 330 current cases, 174 are men and 156 women, mainly residing in the capital city (68 percent of them).
By ages, 63 percent are younger than 15, 13.3 percent are between 15 and 19 years old, 21 percent are between 20 and 49 years old, and 2.4 percent are older than 50.
Some 290 (88 percent) of the 330 patients are fully recovered and no longer isolated in their homes.
The month old indigenous baby with swine flu, previously at the Children’s Hospital, has been taken home and is currently recovering, according to the Health Ministry.
Her parents took her to Curundu, where she was joyfully received by neighbors.
The baby, who was taken to the hospital with breathing problems, lived through critical moments. Her state was so fragile and worrisome that the Children’s Hospital director Alberto Bissot kept a close eye at her progress and was daily reporting on her state.
The baby got special care for weeks and her breathing was aided through mechanical ventilators.
Meanwhile, 338 suspicious cases have been discarded after they tested negative for the virus
The increasing wave of patients approaching health centers to be tested for swine flu, has forced the Gorgas Institute to start charging for the tests.
Starting July 1, the Gorgas will charge $35 for the Influenza A and B or seasonal influenza tests taken at private clinics or hospitals. Public health centers will continue offering the services for free.
Javier Nieto, deputy director of the Gorgas Institute, said the $35 charge only reflects a portion of the total cost, which amounts to $100 per person.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases surpassed 44,287 in 85 countries, with 180 deaths so far according to the World Health Organization.
Over 89 percent of the cases have been reported within the American continent.
The fatality rate remains below 1 percent, and deaths continue to occur in people with esisting risk factors, which include chronic diseases.