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National H1N1 Epidemic
Declared in Bulgaria
Thus, all schools in Bulgaria will be in a swine flu break all of next week (9-14 November). The Health Ministry recommends limiting the number and scope of public events.
The above comments describe the declaration of a national swine flu epidemic in Bulgaria. Earlier this week an epidemic level of H1N1 had been reported in a select number of Oblasts and municipalities (see map). However, this level was subsequently reported for the entire country, so an epidemic was declared.
Although the number of fatalities reported this far are markedly below the levels reported for Ukraine, the rapid spread of H1N1 in Bulgaria raises concerns that there will be a dramatic increases in cases and deaths in the area. Spikes in deaths have already been reported in Turkey and Italy, although none have approached the numbers reported in Ukraine, where influenza/ARI cases are approaching 1 million, and will likely surpass that number in the next report.
The explosion of cases in Ukraine raise concerns that the H1N1 virus has subtly changed, with associated increase in cases and deaths.
Sequence data on these recent fatalities in Bulgaria and neighboring countries would be useful.