Swine flu in Durban eclipses PMB cases

2009-08-14 00:00

SWINE flu numbers have exceeded the 100 mark in KwaZulu-Natal, but Durban is now confirmed to be in the lead with 66 cases, while Pietermaritzburg has 34 reported cases.

The acting manager of Communicable Disease Control, Bruce Margot, said this is to be expected considering that Durban has a bigger population and more international movement than Pietermaritzburg.

Margot said the infections are hitting the affluent community hardest.

“Clinics and hospitals have been pretty quiet. The infections have largely been in the more affluent community who have either travelled or come into contact with people who have come into contact with international travellers,” he said.

The same applies in schools, Margot said. More upmarket schools have been affected than public schools.

While schools’ initial response to the virus was panic, things have quieted down, Margot said. “We are finding that most schools are taking a more practical approach,” he said.

He added that Inanda Seminary has been the only school to have closed as a result of one confirmed infection, despite the Health Department’s advice to the contrary.

Margot stressed that infections are heightened by close contact such as kissing and hugging, and that closing schools is unnecessary.

Meanwhile, parents of pupils at Pietermaritzburg’s Deccan Road Primary School have been in a panic since a grade 1 child contracted the virus.

One parent told The Witness that the school is rumoured to have four cases of swine flu. She said parents were sent notices telling them to keep their children at home if they are sick.

However, principal Siva Gounden has emphatically denied this, saying the school has received confirmation that only one child is ill and is recovering at home.

“When we found out, we immediately contacted the Health Department and we distributed the pamphlets for the children to take home. I don’t know where these rumours are coming from … ”

Judith Brown, headmistress of Wykeham Collegiate Junior School, said they had a confirmed case two weeks ago and have had a lot of children and a teacher off sick. While she said it is more than normal, she said the situation is not unmanageable.

KZN Education Department spokeswoman Mbali Thusi confirmed that there is more absenteeism at schools than normal.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.