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Thu 19 Nov 2009 05:00 PM

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Kuwait tops Mideast list for swine flu cases

World Health Org report says Gulf state has seen 6,640 H1N1 infections so far.

More people have contracted H1N1 influenza in Kuwait than in any of the 22 countries in the World Health Organisation’s Eastern Mediterranean Region, the latest update from the agency shows.

The Gulf state tops the list with 6,640 swine flu infections, or 23 percent of the region’s 28,751 cases.

In second place is Saudi Arabia, with 4,119 H1N1 infections, followed by Oman with 3,829 and Egypt with 2,494.

Iran has the highest fatality rate with 33 deaths, comprising 17 percent of the 188 total H1N1 deaths in the region since May 2009. Saudi Arabia has had 28 deaths, Oman 25 and Kuwait 17.

The UAE has registered 79 infections, but no fatalities, according to the WHO data.

Syria has by far the highest rate of H1N1 deaths to cases, with 9.5 percent of all cases ending in fatalities. At 2.5 percent, Yemen has the second highest rate, but it remains significantly lower than that in Syria.

Egypt has notched up the highest number of new infections since Nov 7, registering 850 new cases. Iran follows with 561 new infections and Iraq with 515, while Oman has seen another 500 confirmed cases.

WHO data shows that, as of Nov 8, more than 503,536 cases of H1N1 had been reported globally, with at least 6,260 deaths. However, the agency warned: “The case count is likely to be significantly lower than the actual number of cases that have occurred.”

The Eastern Mediterranean region makes up 5.1 percent of those cases. The worst affected region, the Americas, has 37.9 percent of the global total of infections.

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