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Swine flu claims two more lives in Sweden

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07:37 CET+01:00
Health authorities in Värmland County, in the west of central Sweden, have reported two recent deaths from swine flu at the county hospital in Karlstad in central Sweden.

A man in his 60s passed away last week, the regional Värmlands-Folkblad newspaper reported. A second patient, who was over 80, died on Wednesday. Three more patients have been treated for the disease in recent weeks.

"The flow of influenza cases is pretty stable," hospital epidemiologist Olle Wik told the paper.

"It's been pretty intense for a while and we haven't seen a decrease."

An increase in cases in neighbouring Norway could explain part of the disease's spread, the newspaper noted. Many county residents regularly commute to work in Norway.

Among the five patients who were admitted in recent weeks, three had not had the swine flu vaccination, Wik said.

He said that narcolepsy fears contributed to fewer people having the jab.

Statistics from the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddinstitutet) show that many casualties have been among people in risk groups - young patients or those with underlying health problems that could play a part in weakening the immune system.

At the end of January, however, a healthy 35-year-old man died from the flu in Skaraborg.

TT/The Local/at

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