Affecting over 400 people, AH1N1 stands out as the most dangerous and prominent form of influenza in Ecuador.
With 22 deaths and 441 registered cases of the highly contagious AH1N1 Flu, the Ecuadorean Ministry of Health says this is within the expected parameters for this year's infections.
Affecting over 400 people in the last two months, AH1N1 stands out as the most dangerous and prominent form of influenza in Ecuador’s Andean region. Masked citizens walk the streets to protect themselves from being carried away by the epidemic.
Since November, around 365 Quiteños, residents of the country’s capital and around the Pichincha province, have registered contracting the virus. Nine have died since Jan.19.
To combat the raging outbreak, the ministry has enlisted several epidemiologists to participate in an influenza committee which will analyze the country’s current situation, management protocols, and possibly vaccinations.
Some 700,000 people at risk of contagion- children under the age of five, elderly people, patients with chronic ailments, and pregnant women- were vaccinated as part of an active campaign to control the virus within the first two weeks of the year.
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Deputy Minister of Health, Verónica Espinosa, assured that health experts are doing their utmost to quell the rising epidemic.
"In Ecuador, the vaccine has the efficiency standards that allow us to recommend its use, both by the MSP and the World Health Organization, so it can be assured that Ecuador is not improvising in the treatment of the flu," Espinosa said.
The Ministry of Health says some of the symptoms to be aware of are a fever rising above 38 ° Celsius, shortness of breath, and a persistent cough or a severe sore throat.
They added that the traditional methods of good hygiene are the best way to ensure continued good health, namely covering the mouth and nose while coughing, hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing, and finally good ventilation in the home and workplace.