KIEV, Ukraine - A Swine Flu Tsunami has sickened 255,000 Ukrainians and killed 71 including three children and two pregnant women.
The World Health Organization says that 1,100 children have been hospitalized. Ukraine reports a total of 15,000 people are in hospital.
The World Health Organization is also sending a team to Ukraine to help the government cope with what appears to be an overwhelming health crisis that has also become a political football.
"Unfortunately, we have today cases of destruction of pregnant women, killing the fetus and in 2 cases - the mother," said health minister Vasyl Knyazevich according to a prepared parliamentary speech made available as a press release on Tuesday.
"As already indicated, the virus quickly spread through Ukraine. Cases (have been) recorded in Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Transcarpathian, Rivne. Quarantine is implemented in 9 provinces," he said.
"The situation is quickly changing with increasingly high levels of acute respiratory illness (ARI)/Influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity being observed in Ternopil, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Chernivtsi regions. The higher levels of transmission in these regions corresponds to an increased number of hospital admissions and fatalities associated with severe manifestations of acute respiratory illness," said a WHO statement.
WHO said as of Oct. 30, 1,100 children had been hospitalized.
"Preliminary epidemiological data analysis indicates that severe cases and deaths primarily occur among previously healthy young adults aged 20 – 50 years. Fatal and severe cases are reported to have sought medical attention 5 to 7 days after onset of symptoms," said a WHO statement.
"International experience of the (H1N1) 2009 pandemic to date, especially from the Southern Hemisphere, has shown that poor clinical outcomes are associated with delays in seeking health care and limited access to supportive care," said WHO in response to Ukraine's report of a medical crisis.
" In addition, this virus has also shown its ability to cause rapidly progressive overwhelming lung disease which is very difficult to treat," said a special WHO statement that addressed the situation in Ukraine, as Slovakia closed two border crossings and Russia offered to help the country deal with the health crisis.
"Public health measures recommended by the Ministry of Health of the Ukraine across the entire country include: social distancing (school closures and cancellation of mass gatherings); enhancement of surveillance activities; increased respiratory hygiene; and continuation of the vaccination campaign against seasonal influenza targeting at risk groups," WHO said.
"In response to the request from the Minister of Health of the Ukraine, WHO is deploying a multi-disciplinary team of experts to assist national authorities in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. The team comprises of the following expertise: health emergencies coordination, case management, epidemiology, laboratory diagnostics, logistics, and media/risk communications," said WHO.