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Major swine flu outbreak in Bolivia

10 July 2012 09:38

An outbreak of H1N1 flu has prompted a health alert in two parts of Bolivia

An outbreak of H1N1 flu has prompted a health alert in two parts of Bolivia

More than 800 people have been infected during an outbreak of swine flu in Bolivia, health officials have reported, prompting a health alert to be issued for La Paz and Oruro.

The country's deputy health minister Martin Maturano is calling on those in Bolivia to take precautions including regularly washing their hands and eating well.

Health officials in Bolivia said though most of the 873 cases of H1N1 flu have arisen in recent weeks the outbreak does not amount to a national epidemic.

Of the total number of cases reported across the country 606 are in the western area of La Paz with 60 to the south in Oruro, 167 in the eastern area of Santa Cruz and 36 in Cochabamba in central Bolivia, highlighting the importance of having medical travel insurance.

Johnny Rada, director of the epidemiology service in Bolivia's health ministry, said the health alert wold enable health workers to step up preventative measures in the affected areas. He told the AFP newswire: "At the national level the situation is under control. The most affected area is in the west."