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Spain remains calm despite 16th death from A/H1N1 flu
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The Spanish Government continued to highlight the low incidence of infection of the A/H1N1 virus on Tuesday following the 16th death from the disease in the country.

A 48-year-old woman with previous health issues became the fourth fatality from the virus in two days when she died in Madrid on Monday.

Three other victims died over the weekend in the southern province of Andalusia.

Jose Martinez Olmos, the General Director of Health, on Tuesday assured the country there was no reason for panic.

"The incidence of the disease is still low," he insisted, highlighting that the level of 34 cases per 100,000 people is well below normal winter levels for flu cases.

Olmos said the government would not be forced into panic measures, such as closing schools or vaccinating the entire population, a measure demanded by the opposition Popular Party.

"The World Health Organization doesn't recommend any specific measures with respect to schools. There is no argument to justify the closure of schools," he said.

Besides having relatively low levels of infection of the A/H1N1virus, Spain also has low levels of mortality in comparison with other countries.

The virus has so far had a mortality rate of 0.038 percent in Spain, which compares favorably with a mortality rate of 0.4 percent in Canada, 0.5 percent in the U.S. and one percent in Mexico.

(Xinhua News Agency August 26, 2009)

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