'Hysteria' at E Cape school

2009-08-11 14:08

Mthatha - About 30 children from an Mthatha high school were taken to hospital for checks on Tuesday morning after collapsing and complaining of severe headaches, the Eastern Cape health department said.

However there was no reason at this stage to believe that their symptoms were due to H1N1 flu, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

"The report is also that they are very hysterical," he said.

There have previously been incidents of mass hysteria at schools in the Mthatha area.

Kupelo said the pupils, from Zingisa High School, were being examined at Mthatha General Hospital.

"Every possibility is being considered," he said.

Public awareness campaigns

Kupelo said the total of confirmed H1N1 flu cases in the province now stood at 35, 17 of them in East London.

On Wednesday the department would send out teams of health promoters and communicators to various parts of the province for a public awareness campaign on H1N1 flu.

They would distribute pamphlets at taxi ranks and other public places.

Kupelo said the department was concerned that people were still spreading "unfounded rumours" about the disease and its prevalence in the province.

The H1N1 flu situation in the Eastern Cape was "still manageable", he said, and the department was not trying to cover up what was happening.

Most of the cases had been imported to the province.

Most of the victims had been travelling either abroad or to other provinces.

People with flu-like symptoms should seek medical advice, and parents whose children had flu should, after taking them to a medical practitioner or a health facility, keep them at home for seven days.