The Department of Health has confirmed on the 16/07/2009 that there have been 104 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, in the country. The most cases being reported in Gauteng.
The country’s first swine-flu case was detected in a 12-year-old boy who arrived from the United States on June 14.
Change in approach
Not every suspected case of swine flu will be investigated, but rather people who are at high risk and have moderate and severe diseases will be put under surveillance.
Preventing swine flu
According to the Department of Health, swine flu is an airborne disease that spreads in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing and sneezing. The use of a handkerchief or tissue when sneezing or coughing can reduce the spread of infection. It cannot be caught by eating pork. Symptoms include aches and pains, fever, fatigue, a runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhoea.
It is treatable with antiviral medication, which is available in South Africa but may only be used under a medical doctor’s direction. People who are suffering from the symptoms, and have recently travelled to areas that have swine flu, should see their doctor.