H1N1 Infections Reach 10,000 Mark

      September 16, 2009 12:10

      With the eighth death linked to H1N1 flu reported on Tuesday, the number of patients infected with the H1N1 virus exceeded 10,000 in Korea about four months after the first case of the infection occurred here.

      The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs on Tuesday said a 64-year-old woman in Gangwon Province was hospitalized with pneumonia on Aug. 27. She tested positive for the H1N1 flu virus and died early Tuesday morning.

      As of Sunday, the number of patients infected with the H1N1 virus was 9,968, with 3,765 new cases of infection confirmed over the last week, the ministry said. It added it was "certain" that infections exceed 10,000 including new cases that have occurred this week.

      Some 538 new infections were confirmed on average every day last week, a sharp increase over the daily average of 288 in the previous week. Choi Hee-joo, a healthcare director at the ministry, said, "But the number of patients visiting a clinic because they suspect they have the virus is slowly decreasing, so we believe that the virus is getting less active."

      Meanwhile, the ministry said it is revoking the designation of 21 hospitals as special institutions for the treatment of H1N1 infections as an investigation of 464 designated hospitals nationwide revealed problems.

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