BUENOS AIRES – The total number of deaths in Argentina from the AH1N1 flu virus has risen to 23, while the number of cases testing positive for the illness reached 1,488, the Health Ministry said.
One of the latest fatalities was a pregnant woman who died at a hospital on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where doctors managed to save her baby.
Argentina’s health situation has become “very serious” with the progress of the virus, several organizations in the sector said, adding that the toll of people infected is subtantially greater than the official number announced and that hospitals are verging on collapse.
The Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, has demanded that the government declare a national health emergency to address the crisis.
The true number of patients could be more than 10,000 because the government only reports severe cases, the federation said.
On Tuesday, Brazil recommended that people over the age of 60, children younger than 2 and people with a weakened immune system postpone trips to Argentina and Chile, the South American countries most affected by the virus.
The virus was first detected two months ago in Mexico, where 119 people have died, representing roughly half of the worldwide death toll from the new strain of swine flu. EFE