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H1N1 virus may appear in Serbia this summer

26. May 2009. | 17:49

Source: EMportal, Tanjug

Head of the Health Ministry’s special working group for implementing the plan for preventing and controlling the epidemic, Predrag Kon, said that the new group A virus is expected to appear in Serbia this summer, adding that the second wave of the epidemic may occur in autumn and winter this or the next year.

Head of the Health Ministry’s special working group for implementing the plan for preventing and controlling the epidemic, Predrag Kon, said that the new group A virus is expected to appear in Serbia this summer, adding that the second wave of the epidemic may occur in autumn and winter this or the next year.

At a press conference held at the government building, Kon said that the Health Ministry’s working group concluded that Serbia is still at risk, while Minister of Health Tomica Milosavljevic noted that although not a single case of infection has been registered in Serbia, all preconditions have been met to raise the swine influenza pandemic alert level to phase 6.

We have not yet raised the alert level, Milosavljevic said, adding that it will occur as soon as it is estimated that the virus is seriously jeopardizing people’s health on other continents.

Kon stressed that the virus is more contagious than a seasonal influenza, so that we can expect it to spread faster.

He reiterated that the Exit and Guca music festivals and the Universiade are three huge events which will bring a big number of visitors to Serbia and this could present a difficult challenge, adding that the working group has drafted a plan to be handed over to organizers, specifying the obligations the participants will have to meet.

Milosavljevic said that at its last session the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that the production of vaccines against the flu, as well as their availability to everyone, is of major importance at the moment.

According to the Minister, the WHO’s financial assistance worth $1.2 billion to the Torlak Institute will enable the Institute to start producing the vaccines against the new group A virus.

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