Warning of second wave of swine flu

SWINE flu continues to sweep across the country, killing more people every day.

SWINE flu continues to sweep across the country, killing more people every day.

Over the past seven days 16 fatalities were confirmed in various provinces, including that of a KwaZulu-Natal doctor.

The doctor, Irshad Moola, has become the first medical practitioner to die of the H1N1 virus. He died in a private hospital after a short illness.

At present the number of people infected with the H1N1 virus stands at more than 11000. Gauteng remains the worst affected, followed by Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

In the wake of the recent spate of deaths, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has issued a warning to the public about a second wave of swine flu that could or might already have hit the country.

NICD spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said: "Of the 47 fatal cases to date, 20 were pregnant women and five were HIV positive."

Due to the high number of fatalities in expectant mothers 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.

Despite the escalating death toll the NICD and government are calling for calm.

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