UKZN man may be latest flu victim

2009-08-06 00:00

WHILE the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department tries to confirm whether the H1N1 virus is the cause of the death of a 44-year-old Phoenix man, a University of KwaZulu-Natal staff member has died, also allegedly from the virus.

The human resource and equity office on the campus sent out notices after a spokesperson for the family advised that Colin Achary had died.

Head of corporate relations Professor Dasarath Chetty, who is on leave, confirmed that the notices have gone out and that Achary worked for the UKZN’s finance department, although he does not know all the details surrounding the death.

In the notice which was sent to The Witness, the university reassures staff and students there is no cause for panic and that the matter is being addressed by a high-level team convened by Professor Willem Sturm of the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine.

“This team will shortly publish guidelines for staff and students. In the meantime, all staff and students are advised that if they are displaying flu-like symptoms and feel concerned, they should seek medical advice,” the notice read.

When The Witness visited UKZN’s website for more information on Achary, only his name and phone extension were available. These suggested that he had been based in the Westville campus.

His death comes after the KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, put the department on high alert and called a media briefing after numerous callers asked about the death of a Phoenix man, the first suspected swine flu fatality in the province.

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