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Panamanian authorities call on people to get vaccinated against flu

Panama, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian health authorities urgently called on the population to get vaccinated against influenza, in view of the increase in the number of cases and deaths due to the disease.

The Health Ministry (MINSA) reported that until May 30, 19 deaths related to the disease had been reported, with a worse impact on adults and minors.

Statistics show that seven of 19 deaths correspond to children between 1 and 8 years of age.

Among the territories with the highest incidence, the western provinces of Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro and Comarca Ngäbe Buglé stand out.

It is important to note that 89.5 percent of the deaths occurred among people who did not have the influenza vaccine, Minsa added.

The report explained that the deceased also had risk factors, like metabolic and cardiovascular problems, malnutrition, immunosuppression or respiratory diseases.

So far, 143 people remain hospitalized, 11 of whom are in intensive care, as they require more specialized medical care.

In view of the worrying situation, MINSA launched a mass vaccination campaign against flu, especially on weekends in shopping malls, parks and other public spaces; in addition to maintaining these services on a daily basis in health care centers.