20 deaths blamed on H1N1 in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's death toll from swine flu has risen to 20, as health care providers this week started doling out the first round of vaccines for the virus.

The Department of Health and Hospitals says that six more deaths were confirmed Friday: three women from the Baton Rouge area, a man from the Shreveport area and children from the Monroe and St. Tammany Parish regions. DHH estimates more than 97,000 people in the state have already had the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu.

Pediatricians this week began administering the first 26,000 doses of a nasal spray vaccine for the virus, to healthy children ages 2 to 5. More vaccine is expected to arrive in the coming weeks and will be administered first to at-risk populations.

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