The recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus has set the world in crisis mode. Kipp looks at the origin of the flu, how it has affected tourism and what regional governments are doing to protect us.
May 18, 2009 5:36 by kippreport
As of May 17 2009, 39 countries have officially reported 8,480 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection. The countries with the highest rate of infection are Mexico and the United States. Mexico has reported 2,895 confirmed cases, including 66 deaths. The United States has reported 4,714 confirmed cases, including five deaths.
In the Middle East, Israel is the only country reported to have confirmed cases of swine flu, after seven travelers were inflected following a trip to Mexico.
Meanwhile, Gulf News reports that pharmacies in Dubai have reported brisk sales in Tamiflu, the only drug that is said to achieve some success in treating swine flu in the US. Even though Tamiflu and an inhaler called Relenza cannot be sold without a prescription, there are some pharmacies that sell the drugs over the counter.
According to these pharmacies, they are yet to register the drugs with the ministry, and hence are able to sell them without a prescription. A 10-tablet pack of Tamiflu costs AED120, while the Relenza inhaler sells for AED86.50. The Dubai minister of health recently said that the country currently has 5 million of the drug in stock.