Colds and flu

14 August 2009

KZN steps up swine flu campaign

The KwaZulu-Natal health department stepped ups its swine flu awareness campaign on Friday as the numbers of people affected by the virus increased, a spokesman said.

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The KwaZulu-Natal health department stepped ups its swine flu awareness campaign on Friday as the numbers of people affected by the virus increased, a spokesman said.

With the catch line: "Your health is in your hands", health workers will visit schools, churches, shopping malls, taxi ranks and other public areas to educate the public about the virus and how to avoid getting it.

Three people have died in South Africa as a result of the newly-identified strain of flu known as A H1N1, or colloquially as "swine flu" - and there are around 2 000 confirmed cases.

The department said swine flu is caught in the same way as seasonal flu -- through droplets expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing.

The symptoms are also similar -- fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

An added feature has been diarrhoea and vomiting.

Recommended ways of preventing infection include keeping a distance of about one metre from other people, avoid touching your mouth and nose, clean hands thoroughly with soap and water and avoid close contact with people who might be ill.

In addition, reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible, improve airflow in your living space by opening windows and practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food and keeping physically active.

Many of the cases identified in KwaZulu-Natal were at schools and boarding schools. – (Sapa, August 2009)

Read more:
Third swine flu death in SA
Swine flu: Africa worse affected

 

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Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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