Viewing cable 09VILNIUS630
Title: LITHUANIA DECLARES NATIONWIDE FLU PANDEMIC; TWO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS6302009-11-25 10:41:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0630 3291041
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251041Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3912
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN PRIORITY 2056
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA PRIORITY 3685
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN PRIORITY
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW PRIORITY 3825
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000630 
 
SIPDIS 
 
EMBASSY COPENHAGEN FOR REGIONAL ESTH OFFICER 
EMBASSY WARSAW FOR REGIONAL MEDICAL OFFICER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KFLU TBIO PREL LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA DECLARES NATIONWIDE FLU PANDEMIC; TWO 
DEATHS SO FAR 
 
REF: VILNIUS 619 
 
¶1.  SUMMARY:  Lithuania declared a nationwide flu pandemic on 
November 24 after flu cases reached epidemic levels in nearly 
two-thirds of the country's 60 municipalities.  Lithuania has 
reported two deaths, both within the past week, from H1N1 
flu.  The Embassy community recorded its first confirmed case 
of H1N1 flu on November 23.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  After 38 of 60 municipalities in Lithuania reported that 
flu and similar respiratory illnesses had reached epidemic 
levels locally, Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis 
announced that the National Commission for Extreme 
Situations, which he chairs, had declared a nationwide flu 
pandemic.  The commission has recommended that people avoid 
large public events.  Decisions on school closings are still 
being made at the local level. 
 
¶3.  Lithuania reported its second H1N1 death -- a 40-year-old 
man in Visaginas -- on November 23. The Infectious Diseases 
Center reported that about 475 persons across Lithuania were 
in hopsitals Tuesday, with 40 of them in intensive care. Many 
schools have closed because of high absenteeism, although not 
all absent children are ill; many parents have kept their 
children home as a precaution.  By the end of last week, 
26,000 people were sick with flu or similar respiratory 
illnesses. 
 
¶4.  One American family member of an Embassy employee has a 
confirmed case of H1N1 flu.  Several Embassy employees are 
off work, but it is unlikely that all are ill; some are 
probably caring for children who are ill or whose schools 
have been closed because of the pandemic.  Embassy staff are 
being kept apprised of the flu situation, and reminded to 
take recommended precautions, such as washing hands 
frequently.  The Embassy has sufficient Tamiflu for all staff 
members and the family members of American staff.  The 
American International School of Vilnius (AISV), which many 
Embassy dependents attend, remains open.  Absenteeism has 
been running about 40 percent in recent days, and is heaviest 
among pupils in grade 5 and below. 
 
¶5.  Municipalities with epidemic levels of flu have put their 
flu action plans into effect.  Those plans require local 
officials to increase the number of medical personnel 
receiving patients at hospitals, increase the number of 
telephone lines to accept calls from patients, increase 
ambulance staffing to provide aid outside of medical 
facilities, increase work hours as needed for medical 
facilities and staff, postpone elective surgeries at 
hospitals, prohibit visitors at hospitals, and make decisions 
regarding closure of schools or cancellation of large public 
events. 
 
¶6.  Tamiflu and other medicines remain in short supply in 
pharmacies.  New shipments are arriving regularly, but sell 
out quickly.  In accordance with its plans and as the number 
of patients has climbed, the GOL has distributed some of its 
stocks of antiviral drugs to hospitals. 
DERSE