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    Two new swine flu deaths confirmed in Russia

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    Two deaths from swine flu have been confirmed in Russia's Urals, the sanitary watchdog in the Chelyabinsk Region said on Wednesday.

    CHELYABINSK, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Two deaths from swine flu have been confirmed in Russia's Urals, the sanitary watchdog in the Chelyabinsk Region said on Wednesday.

    The fatalities bring the official national death toll from swine flu to 16, with several other fatal cases reported. Media reports earlier said there have been 26 human swine flu deaths registered in the country.

    "Laboratory tests have confirmed two more deaths caused by the highly pathogenic flu as of November 11 - a 52-year-old man and a pregnant woman of 21," local Rospotrebnadzor spokeswoman Svetlana Ozhered said.

    Health Minister Tatyana Golikova earlier said that confirmed swine flu cases exceeded 4,560 in Russia as of Monday.

    Mass swine flu vaccinations began in five Russian regions last week. Medical staff, and employees at electric power and water treatment plants and other facilities will be inoculated first.

    Four vaccines against the virus have been tested and registered in Russia. The government has allocated 4 billion rubles ($140 million) to buy the initial 43 million doses of vaccines. Russia plans to have 35.5 million doses before the end of the year.

    Golikova warned earlier this month against panic over the virus, which has caused a shortage of medical masks and antiviral medicines in clinics and retail drug stores, and pledged to step up control of drug stores' supplies and prices.

     

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