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Turkey swine flu deaths rise to nine: health ministry

The death toll from swine flu in Turkey more than doubled in less than 24 hours to reach nine, as hospitals began vaccinating medical workers, the health ministry said.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2009 08:06 IST

The death toll from swine flu in Turkey more than doubled in less than 24 hours to reach nine, as hospitals began vaccinating medical workers, the health ministry said.

The latest victims of the A(H1N1) virus were a 65-year-old woman, who died in Ankara, and two girls, aged 13 and four, who died in Istanbul and the southeastern city of Sanlurfa, the ministry said yesterday.

Overnight a 22-month-old baby and a 14-year-old boy died overnight in Konya, central Turkey, according to health officials.

Around 10 patients remained in a serious condition in intensive care in the country's medical facilities, the ministry added.

The first victim of swine flu in Turkey died on October 24.

Along with medical workers, people who will travel to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage were given priority as the vaccination campaign kicked off on Monday, Anatolia news agency reported.

Health Minister Recep Akdag, who has lashed out at experts casting doubt on the efficiency and safety of the swine flu vaccine, was also to get an injection today, the ministry added.