Two patients have died and seven remain hospitalized due to an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus in the northern Colombian department of Cesar, announced El Heraldo Thursday.
The public health coordinator for Cesar recorded five confirmed H1N1 patients in the department’s capital city of Valledupar, and one patient each in Curumani and Codazzi.
Another 12 possible cases are awaiting diagnosis.
The outbreak is an unfortunate shift from last year, when hospitals confirmed only one case of the H1N1 virus.
Public Health Coordinator Juan Morales told the newspaper that the number of cases recorded so far in 2011 is “on par with what happened in in 2009, when there were 33 patients who tested positive and two deaths in Cesar.”
Morales advised communities to encourage citizens to take preventative measures, including wearing masks and visiting the doctor to report flu-like symptoms.