The victim, whose identity was withheld, is a man in his 60s living in Seoul, health authorities said. He checked into a university hospital in Seoul on Monday for symptoms of pneumonia. He was being treated for the illness but then died of blood poisoning shock.
The deceased tested positive for H1N1 shortly after arriving at the hospital. He was prescribed with antiviral drugs and was treated in isolation.
"The patient had already been suffering from pneumonia and was making visits to the hospital. He came to the emergency room when his cold symptoms worsened," a staffer from the hospital was quoted as telling Yonhap News. "He was already suffering from blood poisoning and respiratory problems, and was receiving emergency procedures at the intensive care unit but failed to recover."
The man is known to have neither travelled to a foreign country recently nor been in contact with other H1N1 carriers. It is presumed that he caught the disease from local community activities, the second victim to have picked up the virus locally.
I'm no medical professional, but didn't this man die of complications perhaps related to the flu, and not from the flu itself?
As of Tuesday, the total number of infections from influenza A in South Korea had reached 3,332, of which some 1,000 are being treated in isolation. The other patients reportedly have recovered.
In other swine flu news, according to a National Assembly member, in turn apparntly quoting the Ministry of Health, 20,000 Koreans could die from the disease in a worst-case scenario.
A government document yesterday raised people's concerns over the H1N1 flu virus, saying up to 20,000 people could die from the infectious disease. "Strengthened measures with more antiviral drugs and vaccines will reduce the number of hospitalized patients to 100,000-150,000 and deaths to 10,000-20,000" said the document, which was disclosed by Rep. Choi Young-hee of the main opposition Democratic Party.
According to Choi, the document was distributed by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs at an emergency meeting of government officials.
The document indicated that approximately 20,000 to 40,000 people could die from the disease if appropriate countermeasures are not followed.
Korea has been manufacturing and stockpiling flu vaccines, and plans to put the 5.3 million vaccines it has into use in November. The article on the worst-case scenario continues to say that at some schools around the country, students are undergoing daily temperature checks. The Joongang Ilbo has more on that.
The Education and Health ministries said in a joint press briefing that all elementary, middle and high schools nationwide will be required to check the body temperatures of all students in front of the school gates every morning.
Schools will be required to report students with flu symptoms to a local public health center, where they will be isolated. Absences due to flu won’t be recorded.
“Parents’ concern over the new influenza is growing, and students in circumstances that facilitate infection are the most likely ones to contract the disease,” said Lee Ju-ho, vice minister of education.
The ministries also advised schools to sterilize their classrooms once a day, provide sanitary products such as soap and hand sterilizer and teach students the right way to wash and clean their hands.
Well, that's a start. The article continues to say that schools are being discouraged to hold events where a large number of students participate
Here's what kimchi-icecream has to say about the flu and what it could mean for Korea.
I think things will peak in October. Students from MULTIPLE SCHOOLS attend hogwans. If only ONE is sick he/she can infect all the other students who then return to their multiple schools and so on and so forth . . .
I can't see how the government or any other agency can regulate and enforce hygiene and health policies in all the different places that need supervision, advice, information, and motivation to do what needs to be done to lower the numbers of people who will get sick.
Perhaps even more difficult to regulate are the parents who still go to work when they're sick, and still send their kids to school when they're sick too. The culture of work no matter what condition you're in may be about to go extinct--one can only hope that the transition will be mildly painful, and that the cost is not too high.
I think Korea is going to see a revolution in hygiene awareness, and Koreans staying home when they're sick instead of going to work and school, and a more educated awareness of how viruses are spread in the next few months.
And, if my Facebook friends' updates are anything to go on, it looks like lots of foreign English teachers have been given the week off, in home quarantine as a precaution against the flu.