Home Local News PR government declares flu epidemic
Issued : Monday, October 14, 2013 06:11 PM
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PR government declares flu epidemic

The Puerto Rico Health Department declared a flu epidemic on Monday after 11,000 cases of the virus, including 14 fatalities, have been registered around the island.

The 14 fatal flu cases include two minors. The majority of the patients were women, with asthma and diabetes being the chronic conditions that caused complications in the deadly cases. The average of the deceased was 54.

Health Secretary Ana Ríus said the San Juan metropolitan area accounts for the bulk of flu cases overall, but added that 29 of the island’s 78 municipalities have a incidence of the virus above the epidemic threshold.

The epidemic declaration frees up the release of antivirus medications for high-risk populations including asthmatics, pregnant women, diabetics, and patients with liver, heart or kidney diseases, among other chronic conditions.

The medications will be available free of charge. The Health Department will also undertake an islandwide vaccination drive from Oct. 19-21.

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