H1N1 virus kills 5 in Morocco.

5 deaths from the H1N1 virus and numerous other suspected cases have sparked concern in Morocco.

 Five people have died after contracting the H1N1 virus, the Moroccan Health Minister Anas Doukkali said Thursday.

In a statement to Morocco’s official MAP news agency, Doukkali said deaths from the H1N1 flu have been reported in both public and private facilities.

He noted that H1N1 flu is the dominant type of flu in 2019 as it is the case on the international level, reassuring that his ministry is closely watching the epidemiological situation in the country.

On Monday, Morocco registered the first death caused by H1N1 virus in 2019.

The possibility of an epidemic of the virus more commonly referred to as ‘swine flu’ is especially worrisome, coming as it does during the season of the year with the highest number of flu cases. Health Minister Anas Doukkali was set to discuss the issue in the Cabinet on Thursday. Bringing attention to the case was reports from a Casablanca man who lost his 34-year-old pregnant wife to swine flu as well as the baby a few hours later, which had been born through a C-section.

The woman was hospitalized on Monday at the university’s Cheikh Khalifa hospital after arriving at the emergency room in serious condition with breathing problems. Blood tests showed that she had been infected with the H1N1 virus, which affects mainly the airways. The day after her death, the health minister reassured citizens, announcing in a press conference that ”the appearance of Type A of the seasonal flu, as well as the H1N1 strain is normal”, adding that ”the national monitoring system for epidemiological surveillance sees similar cases every year during the winter season”. The local press and rumors have, however, raised alarm among the local community. The Arabic-language newspaper Al Massae reported other full-blown cases in Rabat and Casablanca, including in private schools, and l’Economiste reported three suspected cases in two private clinics in Fez. Another case was reported at the Marrakesh hospital. Apart from the Casablanca case, no hospital has confirmed the diagnosis. (ANSAmed).

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