Last week the Department of Health announced that it was closely monitoring two cases of suspected swine flu. The first suspected case was reported in Gauteng and the second in the Western Cape. The two women have since tested negative for the flu. Government has reiterated that no cases of swine flu have yet been confirmed in the country and says it has taken steps to ensure the country’s readiness should any case be identified.
‘Whilst we have not confirmed cases, we are prepared for any eventuality including treating some cases’, said Thami Mseleku, the Health Department’s Director-General.
Swiss drug manufacturer Roche said last week that it has donated 3 million treatment courses of Tamiflu to the WHO to distribute to countries that will need it. Tamiflu is an anti-viral drug for the treatment of seasonal influenza.
Health officials are discouraging people who already display flu like symptoms from travelling.
‘We urge anyone who is ill or feels the symptoms, not to travel either to South Africa or from South Africa. We are saying, please ensure that if you are ill, you do not travel, in order for you to contribute in the world trying to bring about some kind of control over this particular swine flu’, pleaded Mseleku.
Symptoms of this influenza that has already infected more than a thousand people, include fever, coughing, vomiting and diarrhoea.