call for calm on flu

THE South African Medical Association has appealed for calm after confirming that a third person has died of swine flu.

THE South African Medical Association has appealed for calm after confirming that a third person has died of swine flu.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases announced yesterday that there has been a third verified H1N1 influenza death.

"There has been three swineflu deaths in the country ... the third case was a man from Western Cape who died last week," said NICD's Dr Lucille Blumberg.

The second victim, a 15-year-old boy who was thought to have blood poisoning, was admitted to the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein with pneumonia symptoms last week.

Sama said it was concerned that people were queuing up at doctors and pharmacies for medicine. In most cases these people were either not ill or had not yet been diagnosed.

Sama chairperson Denise White said: "We call on the public to remain calm. We have a widespread outbreak but the majority of cases are mild and self-limiting. General respiratory hygiene measures still prevail as the most important way of reducing the risk of transmission.

"The most important thing is for the public to remain informed of, and to report any symptoms of this particular flu strain, which include a high fever (38C and over), body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea."

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