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
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)
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