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Russia reports first swine flu deaths

CHITA, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - Two women diagnosed with swine flu have died in eastern Siberia's Chita, the regional governor's press service said on Tuesday.

"Two women are believed to have died of the A/H1N1 virus," the spokesman said, adding that official confirmation of the causes of death would only be available in 21 days.

One of the victims, a 29-year-old woman, was pregnant. Doctors were unable to save the baby.

Russia's top sanitary official said the woman was hospitalized with swine flu and pneumonia and died on October 19, and the other victim, a 50-year-old patient, died in hospital on October 22.

Gennady Onishchenko also said there were more than 1,300 confirmed swine flu cases across Russia as of October 26.

Russia plans to start a swine flu vaccination program in December. Ten million people - medical staff, employees at electric power and water treatment plants and other facilities - will be given flu jabs in the first instance. Another 30 million will be vaccinated if the virus spreads.




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