department allays swine flu fears

THE Mpumalanga health department has reassured the public that measures are in place to deal with the outbreak of H1N1 influenza in the country.

THE Mpumalanga health department has reassured the public that measures are in place to deal with the outbreak of H1N1 influenza in the country.

Spokesperson for the department Mpho Gabashane said in a statement released yesterday that they were working closely with the World Health Organisation , National Institute of Communicable Diseases , Centres for Disease Control , civil society, private hospitals and doctors' associations to manage "this global pandemic".

"By July 30 the pandemic had spread to 159 countries and territories around the world, with a cumulative number of 146609 confirmed cases and 1096 confirmed deaths," he said.

The number of globally reported cases underestimated the real number of cases, given that countries were no longer required to test and report individual mild cases.

"But if the above statistics are regarded as the status of the pandemic in the world, we can expect about seven deaths per 1000 people who contract the virus.

"In South Africa we confirmed our first case on June 18 2009, and to date we have more than 600 confirmed cases," said the statement.

People are warned that any person with chronic heart or lung diseases, diabetes, HIV-Aids or who is pregnant, are at risk and should seek medical attention, especially those in the 14 to 30 years age group.

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