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Swine Flu in Italy Update 2

There are now nine confirmed cases of swine flu in Italy, according to a press release made by the Italian Health Ministry today.

This represents an increase of five cases since my last update on this issue, which was dated 4th May 2009.

In addtion to the cases reported in Massa and Rome, there have been cases confirmed in Florence, Milan, and Pavia – which is near Milan.  A further two cases have been confirmed in Rome.

Virus Transmission within Families

The 11 year old mentioned in the previous update and who was diagnosed with the A/H1N1 flu virus, apparently passed on the infection to his younger brother, age 2.  Additionally, the children’s grandfather was diagnosed as having contracted swine flu. The 11 year old had returned from a trip to Mexico recently.  Reports from Mexico indicated that this virus was particularly contagious.  The infection of this group from the same Italian family appears to confirm this.

Similar cases of transmission of the virus between family members have occurred in Spain, Germany, and Great Britain.

While the grandfather and 2 year old have been diagnosed as having swine flu, neither has been admitted to hospital, although their condition is being monitored.  The 11 year old member of the same family has made a full recovery.

1500 Helpline Still Operating

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Those in Italy can call the official health ministry 1500 help-line, which is still operating, for further information.

The Evolution of the A/H1N1 Flu Virus

While the current strain of swine flu does not appear to be that strong, in that it has led to a relatively low number of deaths, and, thankfully, none in Italy to date.  Health officials the world over are concerned that the virus may evolve into something more life threatening, and that the effects of the evolved strain may be much more likely to prove life threatening.

The existence or not of a new strain of this A/H1N1 flu virus will not become apparent until the Autumn of this year, I understand.


Italian Health Ministry press release 10th May, 2009 – link to a .rtf text file in Italian: Comunicato n. 201

Italian Health Ministry press release 9th May, 2009 – link to a .rtf text file in Italian: Comunicato  n. 200

Italian Health Ministry press release 9th May, 2009 – link to a .rtf text file in Italian: Comunicato  n. 199

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