A total of 314 people died from influenza between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1 in Mexico, the Health Secretariat said.

Of the total deaths registered during the period, 290 were from the AH1N1 strain, one from the AH3N2 virus, one from type B influenza and the remaining 22 deaths from other strains of the virus.

Laboratory tests have confirmed 2,994 influenza cases since Jan. 1, of which 2,544 were of the AH1N1 strain, 144 of the AH3N2 type, 47 of the type B influenza virus and 259 of other strains, the secretariat said.

Seventy-two deaths were registered in the first week of January, with the death toll rising to 128 in the second week and then falling to 56 in the third week, 51 in the fourth week and seven in the fifth week, the secretariat said.

The infection and death figures will be adjusted as laboratory results are received, the Health Secretariat said.

The seasonal flu outbreak affects adults between the ages of 35 and 55 who suffer from chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, the most, health officials said.

The situation is normal and there is no need to issue an epidemiological alert, the secretariat said, adding that people should take preventive measures and get vaccinated to avoid catching the flu.

The AH1N1 flu virus responsible for the 2009 pandemic is now a seasonal virus, the secretariat said.

The AH1N1 influenza strain was detected in Mexico between March and April 2009.

Around 1,300 people died and more than 70,000 others were infected by AH1N1 in Mexico, where a health alert was kept in place until June 29, 2010. EFE