Pandemic H1N1 2009 Update

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20 August 2009
An eighth death due to the A (H1N1) virus has been confirmed today, the 20 August 2009, by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service. This follows the case of the 21 year old Pretoria young woman who became the first Gauteng victim and seventh death in the country.
The eighth case is that of a 38 year old, pregnant woman who was in her third trimester, she died at the Dora Nzinga hospital in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. She was also a TB patient on treatment.
Out of the eight confirmed cases, three have been pregnancies, four had no underlying conditions while the other had hypertension and was diabetic. Containment of the influenza A H1N1 is not possible given the highly infectious nature of the virus.
The focus should therefore be on identifying persons at risk for complications, those with moderate or severe illness and those close contacts who may be at risk for complications. Persons at risk for complications include the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with chronic underlying illness, such diabetes, those living with HIV and AIDS, chronic lung or chest infections.
It is important that for those persons who are in the high risk category and present with moderate/severe respiratory disease requiring hospitalization be identified and treated early and appropriately
There have been 3485 laboratory confirmed cases and the majority of cases have mild disease. Members of the public are advised to practice basic hygiene which includes regular washing of hands with water and soap, cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve, coughing into one's elbow instead of hands
The Department of Health hotline number for all queries related to swine flu from the public is 0861 DOH CDC or 0861-364-232. There’s also an email query service, at H1N1@health.gov.za.
For further information please contact Nombuso Shabalala on 011 386 6462 or 082 886 4238