The first deaths from the new H1N1 influenza have been reported in Japan during the past week. A 57-year-old man of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, died Aug. 15; a 77-year-old man of Kobe on Aug. 18; and an 81-year-old woman of Nagoya on Aug. 19. Both of the men had chronic renal insufficiency and were undergoing kidney dialysis.

A recent study by a team at Utrecht University, Netherlands, indicates that the flu’s lethality rate is about 0.5 percent, higher than the usual seasonal influenza’s 0.05 percent to 0.1 percent. The latter kills about 10,000 people a year in Japan.

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