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(LEAD) Four S. Koreans infected with Influenza A die

All Headlines 21:39 October 27, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES number of deaths in lead, para 2)

SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- Four South Koreans infected with Influenza A have died, health authorities said Tuesday, as concerns are growing that the contagious disease might be turning into a pandemic here.

A 76-year-old woman, a 26-year-old woman, a 43-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man recently died after being treated for H1N1 virus infection, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said in an emailed statement. The exact cause of their deaths, including the possible impact from the virus, is still under investigation, it added.

The death report came as anxiety is mounting that Influenza A is quickly spreading here in South Korea. As of Monday, the disease has claimed the lives of 25 people here since the infection was first reported in May. Five patients were confirmed to have died due to the H1N1 virus on Monday, the largest death report on a single day.

The government is scurrying to stem the spread of the disease by seeking to vaccinate 35 percent of the country's population of 49 million. The first round of vaccinations started Tuesday for those highly vulnerable to the illness, including medical staff.


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