Monday, January 31, 2011

H1N1 death toll rises to 25 in Italy

It has been one month since the start of 2011 and already 25 people have been killed by the H1N1 virus in Italy. 14 more are in hospital beds receiving medical attention. Due to the high infection rate of the italian population, the Italian Health Minister, Ferruccio Fazio, has launched a campaign encouraging the administration of influenza vaccinations to all (especially those who are immunocompromised, children, and pregnant women).

What interests me is the diverse group of people affected. Italy protrudes into the center of the mediterranean and is a destination of immigration (both legal and illegal) from all areas of the mediterranean. It makes sense therefore that the incidence of disease, relative to the population size, is higher in Italy. Since influenza so readily mutates, perhaps the strains that affect this group of very diverse hosts are different as well.


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