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Swine flu scare hits primary school

By Victor Hlungwani | 2009-08-28 00:00:00.0

PANIC gripped Limpopo's Makhoseni Primary School yesterday - after fears of an outbreak of swine flu.

PANIC gripped Limpopo's Makhoseni Primary School yesterday - after fears of an outbreak of swine flu.

About 43 pupils from the school in N'wamatani village, near Makhado, had to be taken to the nearby Elim Hospital when it was suspected they had contracted the deadly virus.

All the pupils were immediately admitted.

But by late yesterday only four pupils remained at the hospital while the rest were discharged.

Schooling came to a standstill after the pupils started showing signs of a flu-related infection.

Parents reacted swiftly and removed their children from the school.

The parents also reportedly told their children not to go to school until the health issue was sorted out.

School principal Tsakani Mbiza said the scare started in the morning when three pupils complained of feeling ill.

While staff members summoned an ambulance more pupils started complaining of headaches, energy loss and dizziness, she said.

"The situation became scary since most of the pupils started screaming about pain. But we are now relieved that no trace of the swine flu was found at our school."

Limpopo provincial health spokesperson Selby Makgotho confirmed that 43 pupils from the school had been admitted to the hospital.

"We are not at this stage sure what the children were suffering from because we are still investigating," Makgotho said.

"At the moment we are monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of the school."

Mbiza appealed to parents to send their children back to school since the health department was now investigating the cause and the nature of the disease.

One pupil, who did not want to be named, said her parents had told her not to go to school until health authorities "assured' them the school was safe.