SANTO DOMINGO, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Haiti reported on Monday its first suspected death this year from H1N1 virus, reports reaching here said.
The victim was from the small community of Nan Bannann in the southern city of Belle-Ansecity, 110 km southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince, the reports said.
As local government said, the victim died at a hospital in Thiotte, 65 km east of the capital.
Reports said the victim appeared to have contracted the virus in Anse-a-Pitres, a city along the border with the Dominican Republic, where H1N1 has killed eight people.
Last Friday, five people in southeast Haiti were confirmed to have contracted the virus, after tests were sent to the Karpha Laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago to be analyzed. The Haitian government has yet to corroborate all the results.
Guirlaine Raymond Charitte, general director of the Health Ministry, said that of the five suspected cases, only three have been confirmed to have H1N1, a Haitian citizen and two Chilean soldiers belonging to Minustah (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti).
Asked about the suspected first victim of the virus, Charitte said while the victim showed all the symptoms, the case has not been officially confirmed.
"Not all the suspected cases are H1N1 flu. Only a test can confirm them," reports quoted the official as saying in Port-au-Prince.
"We cannot say it is an epidemic, but we can say we have cases of H1N1 flu, which is a seasonal flu," added Charitte.
Last week Haiti activated its health monitoring mechanisms after its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, reported the presence of the flu.
The Haitian government called on the public to be alert to the risks of the virus, which first appeared in July 2009, when a pandemic killed some 20,000 people in several countries around the world.