4 more people die from swine flu

FOUR more people have died of swine flu in South Africa, bringing the number of fatalities from the disease to 31.

FOUR more people have died of swine flu in South Africa, bringing the number of fatalities from the disease to 31.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of the National Health Laboratory Service said yesterday that the number of confirmed cases had also increased to 7606.

"Gauteng remains the province with the highest number of confirmed laboratory cases," said NICD spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala.

"An increase in laboratory confirmed cases has also been noted for the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

"The underlying associations . in the four latest victims include pregnancy, obesity, HIV-positive status - and a five-year-old who was believed to be healthy.

"Of the 31 deaths, 14 were pregnant women, with the majority in their third trimester. Pregnancy has been identified as a particular risk factor for severe H1N1 illness in many other countries to date.

"It is critical that H1N1 infection should receive particular attention in pregnant women who have flu-like symptoms."

Swine flu was first detected in South Africa on June 12. Last week two pregnant women also died of the influenza.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has called on healthcare workers to treat pregnant women who have flu symptoms with "Tamiflu", an antiviral used to treat swine flu.

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