Colombia’s National Health Institute on Tuesday reported that the AH1N1 virus
is present in more than 50% of the country. There is not enough of the
potential vaccine against the virus to inject all Colombians.
The Institute asked local health authorities to be more vigilant about the spread of virus since more than half of Colombia’s departments have already reported cases of swine flu.
“This means that the virus is circulating and can continue spreading to other municipalities and departments. For sure the virus will spread as is it did during the last week. …. we have to permanently monitor all cases of acute respiratory infection,” director of the National Health Institute, Juan Gonzalo Lopez, told Caracol Radio.
Bogota, Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Boyaca and Barranquilla have reported the highest number of AH1N1 infections and deaths. 298 cases of the virus have been confirmed throughout Colombia, and 18 people have died because of the swine flu.
Lopez acknowledged that there will not be enough of the AH1N1 vaccine, being developed by several pharmaceutical companies and currently being tested in the United States and parts of Europe, to inject all Colombians. Therefore the health authorities have prioritized the vaccination of health personnel, members of the Armed Forces, pregnant women, patients with chronic diseases and children under five years.
The director of the National Health Institute could not give a date when the vaccination will arrive in Colombia.