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Russia records first swine flu death: medic

A doctor recently arrived from Bulgaria died after contracting swine flu, becoming Russia's first fatality from the A(H1N1) virus, a Russian medical sciences' academy official said on Sunday.

"The day before she died, her tests were handed over to our group, and we immediately diagnosed it as swine flu," Dmitry Lvov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"We could not take any measures because she died the very next day," Lvov said, adding that the death happened "in early September."

Lvov also warned that the total count of people infected with the virus could be much higher than the 90 Russia had acknowledged so far.

"By my count, it can be as high as tens of thousands. I cannot prove it as yet, but in a few weeks I will be able to and will say so," Lvov said.

"The time when we could say that our border was secure is past. For the flu virus it is a sieve," he added.

The World Health Organisation announced on Friday that the global flu death toll has reached 3,486, up 281 from a week ago.

Experts have previously predicted that about one third of the world's population of more than 6.5 billion people could be affected by A(H1N1). But they stress that so far most victims are suffering only mild symptoms.

Source:  AFP

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