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Rwanda: Swine Flu Outbreak Puts Country On Alert

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  • Rwanda: Swine Flu Outbreak Puts Country On Alert

    The recent outbreak of swine influenza has put the world on a health alert. Since the disease emerged in Mexico less than a fortnight ago, the flue has been reported in the US, Europe, Asia as well as New Zealand and Australia. So far, 148 laboratories confirmed cases in 9 countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, Israel and Spain.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the swine flu outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. It has further raised the alert level of influenza pandemic from 4 to 5 (human to human spread of a new influenza virus).

    The declaration of level 5 indicates that a pandemic is imminent and that time to finalize the organization, communication and implementation of planned mitigation measures is short.

    As for Rwanda, although no cases have been detected yet, the ministry of health takes the disease seriously.

    According to Dr. Richard Sezibera, the Health Minister, surveillance sites have been established by TRAC Plus and the national reference laboratory in four hospitals around the country, which are Kibagabaga, Gihundwe and Kibungo hospitals as well as Kigali central hospital (CHK). Two new sites will be set up soon in Ruhengeri hospital and CHU to ensure that there is at least a sentinel site per province.