Colds and flu

17 August 2009

Sixth swine flu death in SA

South Africa now has six confirmed swine flu deaths, with the official number of confirmed cases in SA at 2 844, the health ministry said on Monday.


South Africa now has six confirmed swine flu deaths, the health ministry said on Monday.

Spokesman Fidel Hadebe said the National Institute of Communicable Diseases confirmed three new cases at the weekend.

"The official H1N1 death toll in South Africa now stands at six," said Hadebe. "All three cases belonged in the high-risk category. The two ladies, a 27-year-old from the Eastern Cape, who also had diabetes, and a 23-year old-from KwaZulu-Natal, were pregnant. The third one, a 64-year-old from the Western Cape, was diabetic and had hypertension.

"The total number of confirmed cases in the country since the first case in June now stands at 2 844."

He said the majority of cases continued to be mild. "Mild symptoms include runny or blocked nose, fever, muscle aches and pain, cough and such cases will not need any specialised medical care as nothing should happen to them."

High-risk patients must seek help
But high-risk patients needed to seek help immediately. "People such as pregnant women, people with chronic heart or lung disease, people living with HIV and Aids and people with diabetes should seek urgent medical attention even if they have mild symptoms," said Hadebe.

Those with mild symptoms need medical attention if they started experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent vomiting, diarrhoea and severe drowsiness or loss of consciousness.

The country's first H1N1 victim reported was 22-year-old Stellenbosch University student Ruan Muller. The second swine flu death was of a 15-year-old boy from Bloemfontein and the third, a 42-year-old man from the Western Cape. – (Sapa, August 2009)

Read more:
H1N1 claims 2 pregnant women in SA
Swine flu map


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Flu expert

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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