Japan’s swine flu deaths reach 100 after elderly Kyoto man dies

Kyodo

Deaths in Japan related to the swine flu epidemic reached 100 after the Kyoto Municipal Government said Sunday that a man with an underlying illness who was vaccinated three weeks ago died after being infected by the H1N1 virus.

The 74-year-old man, who was running a fever of more than 38 degrees, tested positive Friday for type A influenza and was given the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

He collapsed at home around 10:30 a.m. Saturday and died 6 1/2 hours later in a hospital, city officials said.

His swine flu infection was confirmed Sunday by virus gene analysis, they said.

According to the municipal government, the man had two chronic diseases — malignant lymphoma and diabetes. He was vaccinated for swine flu Nov. 16.

On Saturday, a man in his 20s in the city of Akita died after his bronchial asthma worsened due to the flu virus. He was also being treated for a chronic neurological disease, according to Akita officials.

Also Saturday, a 51-year-old man in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, died after suffering from severe pneumonia, officials said. The man did not have any chronic diseases and was prescribed Tamiflu on Dec. 1 when he visited a local hospital.

The nation’s first swine flu infection was confirmed in May, when an Osaka Prefecture high school student who returned from abroad tested positive at Narita International Airport.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases said late last month that an estimated 10.75 million people have visited doctors due to influenza since early July. Many are believed to have been infected with swine flu.