Swine flu claims 59

TWELVE more people have died of swine flu in South Africa, bringing the number of fatalities to 59.

TWELVE more people have died of swine flu in South Africa, bringing the number of fatalities to 59.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service said on Tuesday that the number of confirmed cases had also increased to 11 545, with females accounting for over 60 percent of all cases.

"Of the 66 percent women who died of the N1H1 virus, 40percent of them were either pregnant or in puerperal period. Of the 21 pregnancy-related deaths, 93 percent were in the third trimester. Some 14 of the expectant mothers tested for HIV and the majority had concurrent active pulmonary tuberculosis," said the NICD's Nombuso Shabalala.

Swine flu was first reported in South Africa in mid June. At the time Gauteng was the most affected province but Western Cape is now leading in the number of fatalities, accounting for 33 deaths, followed by the Eastern Cape at seven.

The NICD has issued a warning to the public about a second wave of swine flu that could or might already have hit the country.

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