‘Not a swine flu outbreak,’ says Health Department

2015-05-19 11:00
A doctor holds samples of patients suspected of being infected with swine flu at a hospital in Buenos Aires. (Ezequiel Pontoriero, AP)

A doctor holds samples of patients suspected of being infected with swine flu at a hospital in Buenos Aires. (Ezequiel Pontoriero, AP)

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Durban - While there were cases of swine flu in the province, there was no outbreak said the KZN Department of Health.

In a statement released on Monday the provincial department said they have received a “low number of H1N1 influenza” cases and that the flu strain is “now part of the circulating seasonal influenza viruses”.

Last week, at least two cases of the H1N1 A-type strain were confirmed in Pietermaritzburg, one at Heather Secondary School and another at Scottsville Primary.

A teenager is still in isolation at the DayMed Private Hospital in Northdale.

“This is not an outbreak. It is part of the normal influenza season. The vaccine on offer in South Africa for this flu season includes cover for the H1N1 strain. Since the majority of cases will present with mild disease, the vaccine is recommended for high risk groups,” said spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi.

High risk groups include all pregnant women, people with lung conditions such as asthma; people with haematological and metabolic disorders such as diabetes; HIV-infected persons, children below four years, persons above 65 years, and institutionalised people.

There are two strains of H1N1, namely Type A and Type B, the latter being more dangerous and contagious.

“Influenza can be prevented through basic infection prevention practice. This includes hand washing and cough etiquette, to avoid infecting others by keeping away from crowds,” said Mkhwanazi

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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