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PANDEMIC: Swine flu claims sixth local victim

An 18-month-old boy became the sixth person in the Kingdom to die from the A(H1N1) influenza virus, and the country’s total number of reported cases to 531, health officials said on Thursday. Nima Asgari, a public health specialist at the World Health Organisation, said the latest victim was from Battambang province and had died on December 3. “The boy showed symptoms of the virus and died at Siem Reap hospital,” he said. According to the Web site of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Disease Control, 44 new cases sprang up in 13 provinces in the past week. To combat the virus, health officials recommend that people wash their hands frequently, refrain from spitting in public, use tissues when coughing or sneezing and avoid crowds.

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