SANTIAGO – The death toll from swine flu has reached 128 in Chile, with 12,175 cases of the disease now confirmed, the Health Ministry said in a report Thursday, adding that the number of people infected with the AH1N1 flu virus was dropping.
Since May 17, when the presence of the flu virus was first confirmed, until this past week, there have been only 71 new confirmed cases in Chile, the ministry said.
There is “a clear downward trend” in cases of the disease in all of Chile’s regions, the Health Ministry said.
A total of 353,525 cases that appeared to exhibit symptoms of the AH1N1 flu virus were reported, of which 12,175 have been confirmed, with 1,325 cases considered serious and requiring hospitalization, representing a rate of 7.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, the ministry said.
The regions with the highest number of cases have been Los Rios, with 26.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, Tarapaca, with 25.4, Los Lagos, with 18.5, Arica, with 11.8, and Atacama, with 10.8 per 100,000 people.
The average age of seriously ill flu patients is 34, and 48 percent of these patients also suffer from chronic diseases, the Health Ministry said, adding that women accounted for 51 percent of the total cases.
Of the 128 deaths from the AH1N1 flu virus, 116 were classified as being directly associated with the disease, while the rest are still under investigation or were cases in which the virus did not play a dominant role in the events leading to death.
Chile has administered 647,294 anti-viral treatments since the disease was first detected. EFE