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17 dies of swine flu in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 14
Seventeen people have died because of the swine flu in Georgia this winter, the Georgian National Disease Control Centre says.

To oppose the acute respiratory illness Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze decided to make an anti-flu medicine Tamiflu free of charge in the case of need and added that the state will cover emergency ambulatory cases.

Prior to the decision, top Georgian pharmacies stated that they would decrease the price of Tamiflu from 80-100 GEL to 68 GEL.

The Georgian Health Ministry says that up to 900 people are being treated for flu currently.

Health Minister David Sergeenko says that 254 people are infected with swine flu per 100,000, which means that there is no risk of epidemic.

Sergeenko says that the number of cases of flu has decreased last week. However, he said that the rise is expected in February.

Georgian medical institutions and pharmacies have run out of vaccines for 2018-2019. The National Immune Centre representative told The Messenger on Saturday that they do not know when they have it in stock again.

In his previous statement, Head of the National Disease Control Centre Amiran Gamkrelidze said that Georgia will purchase 80,000 vaccines for 2019-2020.

The symptoms of the H1N1 virus are almost the same as the seasonal flu and may involve a cough, fever, sore throat, body and headaches and fatigue.