First swine flu case in Jozi

The deadly H1N1 influenza, better known as swine flu, has arrived in South Africa. The first case was confirmed at a Johannesburg hospital yesterday.

The deadly H1N1 influenza, better known as swine flu, has arrived in South Africa. The first case was confirmed at a Johannesburg hospital yesterday.

The victim is a 12-year-old boy from the United States who flew into the country on Sunday. The boy has since been discharged and is recovering in isolation at home.

The Department of Health said it was not at liberty to confirm if the boy had come to watch the Fifa Confederations Cup or not.

"We received confirmation of the diagnosis yesterday morning. The 12-year-old had flu-like symptoms on arrival in the country on Sunday. He was admitted to a private hospital in Johannesburg the following day. The patient fitted the criteria as a suspected case of H1N1 influenza. He was dealt with in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Department of Health guidelines," said departmental spokesperson Fidel Hadebe.

Swine flu was declared a global pandemic last Thursday. This means it is new to humans and is spreading rapidly in many parts of the world. It first emerged in Mexico in April and has spread to 74 countries around the world. The WHO has reported more than 29000 cases including 141 deaths to date.

Hadebe refused to divulge the name of the institution that treated the boy. He said the patient was kept in isolation and discharged after a few days.

"All contacts have been followed up and given the necessary advice and treatment. We wish this patient a complete and speedy recovery."

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