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H1N1 outbreak likely to run for 200 weeks: health minister

H1N1 outbreak likely to run for 200 weeks: health minister

Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) The ongoing influenza A(H1N1) outbreak in Taiwan is likely to run for at least 200 weeks, making the country's epidemic control effort a long-haul fight, Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yaung Chih-liang said Thursday.
While it is predicted that the new flu strain could infect 30 percent, or 7 million, of Taiwan's population, they are unlikely to get infected at the same time, Yaung said.
"If 30,000 people are infected per week, the outbreak will last for at least 200 weeks," he said in a news conference.
Yaung expressed confidence that Taiwan can handle the situation properly, noting that the new type of flu is not incurable, though slightly more severe than the normal flu.
The results of computer simulation generated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that there have likely been 15,000 new cases in the past week.
As of Wednesday, Taiwan had recorded 47 severe infections of influenza A(H1N1), five of which had resulted in death, according to the CDC.
Yaung said compared with other countries in the region, the situation in Taiwan has remained moderate.
For example, he said, Australia has seen 132 people die from the disease, and the fatalities in Malaysia and Singapore have reached 63 and 12, respectively.
On the controversy surrounding President Ma Ying-jeou's decision not to activate the national security mechanism to deal with the influenza A(H1N1) situation, Yaung said it was he who advised the president not to do so.
The minister dismissed as fear mongering the claim by certain media outlets that the government's measure to allow civil servants to take leave of absence to take care of flu-infected family members will result in a shortage of staff to deal with the epidemic.
He said such false reporting is subject to a fine of up to NT$500,000 under the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Act and that the DOH will consider taking action against these media.
(By Y.F. Low)




Updated : 2021-05-13 08:10 GMT+08:00