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S. Korea reports 18th Influenza A death

All Headlines 20:35 October 17, 2009

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- A seven-year-old South Korean boy has died after contracting Influenza A (H1N1), health authorities said Saturday, driving the nation's death toll from the disease up to 18.

The child, a resident of the Seoul region, died while being treated for acute respiratory distress syndrome at a local hospital, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said.

"(We have) classified the seven-year-old boy as a flu-inflicted death case following an epidemiological study," a ministry official said.

The ministry said the boy had been admitted to a hospital earlier this month after showing type-A influenza symptoms and was taking anti-viral medication.

It also confirmed a women who died of respiratory difficulties Friday was another victim of the virus after receiving test results after her death.

Since it was first reported here in May, the H1N1 virus has claimed the lives of 18 South Koreans, including one infant. Most were categorized as "highly vulnerable" patients who were either elderly or suffering from chronic diseases.

The government is scurrying to stockpile antiviral drugs and vaccines for fear the flu may spread further and plans to vaccinate 27 percent of its population of 49 million by February next year.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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