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Namibia - Three Suspected Flu Cases Reported

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  • FrenchieGirl
    Re: Namibia - Three Suspected Flu Cases Reported

    3 new suspected H1N1 cases reported

    THREE more suspected cases of the H1N1 flu virus, commonly known as ?swine flu?, have been reported in Namibia.

    Dr Jack Vries, Chairperson of the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC), yesterday confirmed to The Namibian that lab results are being awaited for the three cases, with the first two expected by tomorrow.

    The lab tests are being conducted at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa, where 18 cases of H1N1 have already been confirmed.

    Asked where the suspected cases had been reported, Vries responded that one of the three was reported on Friday at the Namibia Institute for Pathology (NIP), the second on Saturday at the Windhoek Central Hospital, and the third on Monday at Okahandja.

    All three ? who are Namibian citizens ? have had a recent history of travel: two having just arrived from the United States, and the third having arrived from Europe, where extensive travelling was done.

    Vries said the lab results for the weekend?s suspected cases are expected by tomorrow, while the results for the third case are expected by the end of this week.


    The new suspected cases bring the total number of swab samples sent for testing to eight, four of which have already drawn negative lab results.
    Vries also confirmed yesterday that the lab tests conducted on a Russian sailor who arrived in Namibia from Mexico and presented himself to the Welwitschia Hospital last Tuesday with flu-like illness, had returned negative, confirming that three of the four cases tested last week have returned negative.

    Results of the fourth case ? a 13-year-old girl from Tsumeb ? are still being awaited.


    And while Namibia has not had a confirmed case of H1N1 as yet, the global threat remains ever-present, with the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths increasing on a daily basis.

    By yesterday, the H1N1 update of the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 94 512 confirmed cases globally, and 429 deaths resulting from H1N1 flu.

    Closer to home on the African continent, the WHO update reported 147 confirmed cases, half of which were reported in Egypt, and 18 in South Africa. There have been no reported deaths as a result of H1N1 on the continent.

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  • Shiloh
    started a topic Namibia - Three Suspected Flu Cases Reported

    Namibia - Three Suspected Flu Cases Reported


    Namibia: First Suspected Flu Case Reported
    Nangula Shejavali

    29 May 2009

    WHILE health officials await lab results in the first suspected case of H1N1 flu in Namibia, preparations for dealing with a potential outbreak remain on track.

    Health workers will assume their posts at Hosea Kutako Airport from this morning.

    The Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek confirmed at a meeting of the National Health Emergency Management Committee (NHEMC) yesterday that the first suspected case was detected on Monday morning, when a 40-year-old Namibian who had travelled to Hong Kong, China, reported to the hospital three hours after her arrival.

    By Wednesday this week, Hong Kong had 12 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu infection.

    The woman reported to the hospital with flu symptoms such as a sore throat, headache and body aches.

    Although she did not have a fever - one of the main symptoms of flu - hospital staff nonetheless followed the prescribed procedures because of her travel history.

    This included taking swab samples, which have been sent to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa for testing, advising the patient to stay at home for a week, and prescribing the antiviral drug Tamiflu, along with other medication.

    She was not admitted to the hospital, and was sent home after the tests were done.


    But while the first suspected case may have come as a bit of a surprise for the NHEMC, it hasn't been put down by the scare, and is continuing systematically in its emergency response preparations, which are in their final stages.

    Committee chairperson Dr Jack Vries described the first suspected case as an "ideal situation of reportage", with the patient having reported to the hospital herself, showing that she was well informed of the flu epidemic.

    From this morning onwards, environmental health assistants and nurses will be stationed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, having gone through training yesterday afternoon.

    These health workers will be responsible for handing out some of the 100 000 printed travellers' cards containing information on the flu, answer questions on the flu, and direct travellers exhibiting flu symptoms.

    The H1N1 emergency response plan has also been finalised, and is currently being printed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and distributed to health personnel in both the private and public sectors.

    Medical officers from all 13 regions will receive training today and on Wednesday next week, and there will be a workshop for journalists on Monday.

    In the rest of Africa, according to the WHO, no confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1) have been reported. By last Tuesday, 31 suspected cases had been reported in 11 African countries, it said. Test results in five of these cases are still awaited.

    Worldwide, the WHO's latest flu update indicates that 48 countries have reported 13 398 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection, including 95 deaths.