CONFUSION surrounds how many people in Andalucia have actually died from swine flu.
It comes after it emerged that the health authorities in Cadiz covered up the death of an 18-year-old girl in September.
The decision was taken to avoid public alarm after the girl died at Jerez Hospital, in Cadiz province.
Now, concerned expatriates are questioning exactly how many people might have died from the illness, and how many have contracted it.
Briton Vanessa Cassano, who lives in the Genal Valley said: “A lot of people are confused. Is this something to worry about or not?”
It comes after a third person was confirmed to have died from the virus in Malaga province alone.
“A lot of people are confused. Is this something to worry about or not?”
The 46-year-old woman died at the Hospital Clinico, after spending a month in intensive care.
The Olive Press understands that numerous cases of the virus are going unreported.
As well as breaking a story about former Miss Wales, Imogen Thomas contracting swine flu, along with a friend, in Marbella, in July, a group of walkers contracted it while on holiday in the Grazalema national park last month.
The Olive Press can also reveal that the mayor of Alpandaire Gabriel Jimenez Ruiz, 44, contracted swine flu a fortnight ago.
He was rushed to the hospital in Ronda, where blood tests were taken. The illness was confirmed a few days later and it took him 12 days to recover.
The mayor said: “There could be quite a few more cases, but it is unclear how many. There was certainly a child of 11 years with it at the hospital.”
This is despite nurses and doctors at Ronda Hospital claiming unofficially that there have been no cases in the area.
A hospital employee confirmed last night: “I can´t tell you how many people have had swine flu and I am pretty sure we have no such figures available.”
Said mayor Ruiz: “It is vital that when someone dies they announce the truth. People need to know.”
The number of deaths from swine flu in Spain is believed to stand at 42, however, doubts have now been fuelled as to whether this is the correct figure.
In comparison, 90 people have died so far in the UK from the disease.
However, a Malaga health spokesman insisted that the problem was being exaggerated.
He said: “Swine flu is not a big issue. More people are actually dying from normal flu than from swine flu.”
In a government change of policy, deaths from swine flu are now officially recorded by the number of fatalities per 100,000 people as opposed to individual cases.
In a bid to further reassure the public, officials are now focussing on releasing preventative guidelines.
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