Health Ministry Says Swine Flu Does Not Require Extraordinary Measures, Less Cases than Last Winter

The Health Ministry's Director-General, Walid Ammar, reassured the Lebanese on Friday that the H1N1 strain has become similar to seasonal flu saying there were currently some cases in Lebanon but not as much as last winter's levels.

In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio station, Ammar said illness caused by the virus requires no extraordinary measures and that complications could only arise in pregnant women, children under the age of five and people with chronic diseases.

He advised those with low immunity to get the swine flu vaccine.

Flu vaccines are made by several drug-makers, including Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, France's Sanofi-Aventis and the Swiss firm Novartis, all of which made H1N1 shots last season to deal with the swine flu pandemic.

Three people died from swine flu in neighboring Syria in December. The virus has killed around 163 people out of almost 36,000 cases reported in 76 countries.

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