In a follow-up to the H1N1 influenza outbreak in Panama, which the government recently declared a national health alert, La Prensa reports (computer translated) that Panamanian Health Minister Francisco Javier Terrientes submitted his resignation, according to sources close to President Juan Carlos Varela.

Panama map/CIA
Panama map/CIA

Terrientes replacement has already bee chosen–Deputy health minister, Miguel Mayo.

The outbreak has resulted in 22 deaths and 671 hospitalizations due to the virus. Approximately half remain admitted and 38 are in intensive care.

Influenza-related fatalities have been reported from West Panama, Colon, David, Santiago, San Miguelito and Aguadulce.

Panama’s government has announced it would make nearly one million more doses of A(H1N1) vaccines available by next week.