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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BRUSSELS1400
2009-10-20 13:55:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

BELGIUM: THREE MORE H1N1-RELATED DEATHS REPORTED

Tags:   KFLU  AEMR  ASEC  AMED  CASC  KFLO  TBIO  KSAF  KPAO 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4696
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHBS #1400/01 2931355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201355Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9572
RUEAUSA/HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 001400 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC AMED CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO
PREL, PINR, AMGT, TF, BE
SUBJECT: BELGIUM: THREE MORE H1N1-RELATED DEATHS REPORTED
THROUGH OCTOBER 19; RAPID OCTOBER INCREASE IN H1N1 CASES
BRINGS TOTAL TO ABOVE 20,000

REFS: A) BRUSSELS 1347; B) BRUSSELS 1055

BRUSSELS 00001400 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 001400

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC AMED CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO
PREL, PINR, AMGT, TF, BE
SUBJECT: BELGIUM: THREE MORE H1N1-RELATED DEATHS REPORTED
THROUGH OCTOBER 19; RAPID OCTOBER INCREASE IN H1N1 CASES
BRINGS TOTAL TO ABOVE 20,000

REFS: A) BRUSSELS 1347; B) BRUSSELS 1055

BRUSSELS 00001400 001.2 OF 002


--------------
Summary
--------------


1. Three more Belgians have died in mid-October from the
A/H1N1 virus, bringing the total of deaths related to the
pandemic to five. Belgian health authorities announced on
October 18 the death of a 43-year old man on October 15; his
death closely followed that of a 5-year old boy on October 14,
and a 37-year old woman on October 11. The man and child had
known risk factors, the woman did not, according to the
Government. Meanwhile, the number of estimated cases of H1N1
rose sharply the week of October 5 to 11, to 7,534 cases,
bringing the total number of estimated positive cases in
Belgium since the beginning of the outbreak in April 2009 to
over 20,000. The Government began its voluntary H1N1
vaccination campaign on October 18, starting with the
country's health-care workers in hospitals, and to be followed
this week by general practitioners. When more vaccines become
available in early November, the Government plans on
vaccinating remaining healthcare workers not included
initially (remaining nurses, home-care nurses, pharmacists),
as well as at-risk groups (pregnant women, parents of children
under six months, teachers and employees of child-care
centers). End summary.

Three More H1N1-related Deaths Bring Total to Five
-------------- --------------


2. On October 18, Belgium's Interministerial Influenza
Commission (IIC), the coordinating entity of the Government
regarding pandemic influenza, announced it had learned that
day of the October 15 H1N1-related death of a 43-year man from

Liege province (Wallonia). The man had an undisclosed
underlying condition that placed him in an at-risk group for
the virus. On October 14, after an emergency health-care team
came to his residence, the man was admitted into a hospital
with acute double pneumonia. His medical condition continued
to worsen and he developed new complications. The country's
Public Health Institute later confirmed the positive H1N1
test.


3. The IIC also announced October 16 that a 5-year old boy
from Hainaut province (Wallonia region) who had multiple risk
factors died on October 14 as a result of the A/H1N1 virus.
The child first came down with a fever and respiratory
difficulties on October 8; his health worsened and he was
admitted to the hospital on October 9 and given antiviral
medication. His situation continued to worsen, however. The
country's Public Health Institute confirmed the positive H1N1
test on October 15.


4. On October 13, the IIC informed that the third Belgian
death related to the A/H1N1 virus had taken place on October
11, of a 37-year old woman from Antwerp province who had no
known risk factors linked to H1N1. The woman first began
showing flu symptoms on September 26; her health continued to
worsen and she was admitted to the hospital on October 3 with
double pneumonia and at that time was put on an artificial
respirator. The country's Public Health Institute confirmed
the positive H1N1 test on October 13. Belgium's second H1N1
death occurred in early October (ref A), and that victim also
had no known risk factors. The first fatality linked to H1N1
occurred at the end of July (ref B); that patient did have
pre-existing medical conditions.

Total Number of H1N1 Cases Jumps Above 20,000
--------------


5. On October 16, the IIC also announced an estimated 7,534
new cases of the H1N1 virus in Belgium for the week of October
5 to 11, bringing the total number of estimated cases in
Belgium since the H1N1 outbreak began in April 2009 to 20,100.
There were an estimated 4,160 new cases of H1N1 in Belgium for
the week of September 28 to October 4, and an estimated 1,792
positive cases the week of September 21-27. Belgium ceased
testing individuals in July 2009, when the World Health
Organization declared that H1N1 virus had reached the pandemic
level, and since then has used its system for estimating
positive cases, which relies on data based on cases of
patients who visit the approximately 180 doctors who make up
the national H1N1 network.


6. At the same time it announced the fourth H1N1-related
death on October 16, the IIC indicated that while the number
of positive cases was continuing to rise, the mortality rate

BRUSSELS 00001400 002.2 OF 002


of H1N1 was normal for this period of the year.

-------------- ---
Belgium's Vaccination Campaign Starts October 18
-------------- ---


7. The Influenza Commission reported October 16 that the
Government would begin the first phase of its vaccination
campaign against the H1N1 pandemic flu starting October 18,
with the delivery of vaccines to all Belgian hospitals.
Doctors, nurses, interns, doctors-in-training and medical
staff will be the first to receive the vaccine, on a voluntary
basis. Later this week, Belgium's general practitioners will
receive vaccines. These two groups of health care workers
(the so-called 'first and second line' of health-care
defenders) are being vaccinated first to ensure that the
country's health-care system will be functional during a
pandemic, and to prevent any transmission of the H1N1 virus by
health-care workers to patients. As soon as sufficient stocks
of the vaccine become available in early November, the second
phase of the vaccination campaign will begin, to cover any
remaining health-care professionals (including nurses, in-home
nurses, pharmacists), and persons belonging to a group deemed
especially at risk for the virus, such as pregnant woman in
their second and thrd trimester of pregnancy, parents of
childre less than six months old, teachers, and day-care
providers. The ICC will be responsible for informing targeted
groups about the practical aspects of the upcoming vaccination
process.

GUTMAN