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Maldives has local transmissions of H2H H1N1

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  • Maldives has local transmissions of H2H H1N1

    The Ministry of Health has raised its pandemic alert level over the swine flu virus to phase 4 levels yesterday. Level 4 means sustained human to human transmission.

    Addressing the press, Senior Medical officer of Center for Community Health and Disease Control (CCHDC) Dr Ahmed Jamsheed said that the alert level has been raised after confirmation of prevalence of the disease in Raa and Meemu atolls. This means that the infection is being transmitted within the general community but limited to some islands.

    Yesterday, three more people have been confirmed to have H1N1 virus. This includes a 21 year male and a 17 year old girl both from Shaviyani Atoll Goidhoo and also a 73 year old male from Meemu Atoll Mulaku.

    In Maldives, the first swine flu related death was registered last week. It was a 65 year old man from Raa Atoll Inguraidhoo and health officials say that this was the first case of local transmission. The day after he passed away, a four year old boy from the same island was tested positive for swine flu. This week, two month old girl, one year old boy and a 29 year old woman, all from Raa Inguraidhoo was tested positive for swine flu.

    In a different part of the country, in Meemu Atoll Muli, a 27 year old man was tested positive for swine flu on Sunday.

    Even though so far swine flu cases have come out from Raa Atoll Inguradhoo, Meemu Muli and recently Shaviyani Atoll Goidhoo, Dr Jamsheed says that it should be expected that more cases will be seen from across the country in days to come.

    While swine flu alert has been raised, the health ministry has informed that chances of receiving vaccine for the flu by February were very slim. In an interview given to Radio Maldives, Minister of Health Aminath Jameel said that discussions were under way with World Health Organization to acquire vaccines for swine flu as soon as possible.

    For the time being, health ministry has taken preventive measures such as permit for visiting the patients in Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) has been temporarily withdrawn.

    The Health Ministry further appealed to islands where the disease has been confirmed to be present to avoid public assemblage, to delay Eid celebrations and issued a travel advisory to general public on visiting these islands. Dr Jamdheed said that this does not mean these islands are going to be quarantined but this was an advice for controlling the flu.

    Further advisory had been issued for people with common cold like symptoms to use masks as well as people treating them