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  • Two Swine flu cases hit Swakopmund

    09.04.10
    Two Swine flu cases hit Swakopmund
    By: ADAM HARTMAN

    AT least two cases of the H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, have been confirmed at Swakopmund.
    They are the first cases of the flu strain reported in Namibia this year, and come at a time when the health authorities are preparing a national H1N1 vaccination campaign due to start in May.
    When The Namibian called Dr Jack Vries, who heads the National Health Emergency Management Committee, for comment on the latest cases, he said it was the first he had heard about it.
    ?This is very bad news since no one informed us about the cases. There must be a break in communication here,? he said.
    ?We will have to follow this up immediately.?
    A group of 13 Swakopmunders returned to Namibia from a golf vacation in Phuket, Thailand, two weeks ago, and on arrival at Hosea Kutako Airport in Windhoek, most of them were suffering from flu-like symptoms.
    According to one of the possible patients, who is still awaiting the results of his test, they went to their respective doctors who took swabs and sent the samples to local pathology centres.
    Four days later, it was confirmed that two of the people had the H1N1 virus, but it is believed that more could have tested positive.
    One of those who tested positive to H1N1 confirmed it to The Namibian.
    ?I believe we contracted it in Phuket because one of our members already showed flu-like symptoms there. When we came back to Namibia on the Sunday (March 28), nearly all of us had the flu. But at that stage we were not even thinking of swine flu,? he said.
    Most of them received Tamiflu antiviral treatment and are well again.
    ?By the time I got my result, I had recovered from the flu,? the patient said.
    The Namibian contacted a local pathology centre to get more detail. According to them, one patient tested positive for H1N1.
    The child of one of the people who had visited Phuket was also said to have contracted H1N1, but when the principal of the child?s school was contacted, he denied the ?rumour?.
    ?She did go to a doctor, but there was no feedback at all whether she has got H1N1,? he said.
    One of the doctors who treated some of the suspected cases said he had not received any confirmation yet about his patients, but added that he did know of two confirmed cases.
    ?It should be standard procedure that once we get a confirmed case the national emergency committee is notified,? he said.
    Another doctor, who had treated one of the two confirmed cases, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
    Dr Vries said that 220 000 doses of H1N1 vaccine will arrive from the World Health Organisation (WHO) soon, after which a national vaccination campaign will be launched in May.
    ?It will take place in categories with those most vulnerable to the virus,? he said.
    First all health workers will be immunised; then children between the ages of six months and one year, and then pregnant women.
    Only after that will people suffering from chronic illnesses come into consideration.
    Dr Vries also said that the Namibia Institute for Pathology (NIP) would soon be conducting H1N1 tests in Windhoek and would be able to release results within 24 hours, compared to a week or more, as is the case with samples sent to South Africa.
    The Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) of Namibia says South African authorities have introduced new rules for exporting livestock without consulting other stakeholders, including Namibia. According to […]
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

  • #2
    Re: Two Swine flu cases hit Swakopmund

    Namibia: Kamwi Calls for Responsible Action Against H1N1
    Adam Hartman
    12 April 2010


    AFTER reading about the first confirmed case of H1N1 (swine) flu at Swakopmund in The Namibian on Friday, Health Minister Richard Kamwi thanked the newspaper for bringing the case to his attention, but expressed disappointment in the health officers and institutions involved in the case who had not reported it to the health authorities.

    The Namibian learned last week that at least two of a group of 13 people who had returned to Namibia from Phuket (Thailand) just over two weeks ago, were infected with H1N1.

    One case was confirmed by a pathology centre, while a doctor at Swakopmund told The Namibian that he knew of two confirmed cases.

    The National Health Emergency Management Committee knew nothing about these cases when contacted by The Namibian.


    This comes in a time when Namibia is preparing for a national H1N1 vaccination campaign next month, with 220 000 doses of vaccine received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    Kamwi urged medical practitioners, health officers, medical labs and patients who may suspect that they have swine flu to immediately report it to health authorities.

    "We managed to stop this virus in its tracks in our nation last year. Now someone comes and brings it in from the outside. Doctors and labs having tested these patients should make it their duty to contact the health authorities so that we can know where and when and who has the virus, helping us to monitor it and keep it under control. The health of our nation is at stake," the Minister said.

    With regard to the Swakopmund cases, Kamwi said one case had been confirmed as H1N1 and the results of the other one were still pending.


    About seven of the 13 people who had been on the trip to Phuket were apparently tested for H1N1. Although the confirmed patient is healthy now, he was the first confirmed case of swine flu in Namibia this year.
    AFTER reading about the first confirmed case of H1N1 (swine) flu at Swakopmund in The Namibian on Friday, Health Minister Richard Kamwi thanked the newspaper for bringing the case to his attention, but expressed disappointment in the health officers and institutions involved in the case who had not reported it to the health authorities.
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

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