No need to panic over swine flu

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

There is no need to panic over swine influenza, which is spreading in some parts of the world, the Department of Health said.

"No cases of the deadly flu have been reported in South Africa but we are monitoring the situation," spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said yesterday.

"Adequate measures have been taken to ensure the country's preparedness and response should any case(s) be identified.

"These measures include drafting guidelines such as National Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan and Influenza Case Management guidelines, operation of Outbreak Response Teams in all provinces and heightened clinical and laboratory surveillance are in place to identify any suspected cases," Hadebe said.

The swine influenza which recently emerged in Mexico has killed more than 100 people in that country and left more than a thousand infected with the deadly strain. Hundred other cases have been reported in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Korea.

Hadebe said the increase in the number of cases reported in different countries should not be cause for alarm in SA.

"The department is working closely with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the Agriculture Department and the WHO in monitoring the situation," he said.