- Title: NEW ZEALAND: Officials give an update on possible swine flu cases
- Date: 28th April 2009
- Summary: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (APRIL 27, 2009) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AUCKLAND AIRPORT PASSENGER ARRIVING FROM THE U.S. SHOWING HEALTH WARNING LEAFLETS
- Embargoed: 13th May 2009 13:00
- Location: New Zealand
- Country: New Zealand
- Topics: Health
- Reuters ID: LVAEDK4UGQKRRIFOUZ73AL3QZNEH
- Story Text: A New Zealand teacher just returned from Mexico was being treated in hospital with flu-like symptoms, as three students from a second school party were also showing symptoms, health officials said on Monday (April 27).
The teacher was part of a group of 25 from an Auckland secondary school that spent three weeks in Mexico, and was expected to be discharged later in the day.
Ten from that group have been confirmed as having Influenza A and are being treated as likely swine flu sufferers. One of the pupils had also been briefly hospitalised for treatment.
"I'm going to brief the cabinet on the process that's been made to date about what actions, we might have to have in case this matter escalates," Health Minister Tony Ryall said.
The result of tests on the school party to see if they have the H1N1 flu strain are expected by Tuesday (April 28) from a World Health Organisation laboratory in Australia.
The affected students have been treated with the drug Tamiflu and stocks of the medicine have been released to cope with any further cases.
Initial tests on a group of 14 from a second school in Auckland, which had also just returned from Mexico, have shown three with signs of Influenza-A.
"We are going to continue dealing with it as if it's swine flu until we hear that it's not," Public Health Director Mark Jacobs said.
"The advice from officials is that we should consider it probable that it's swine flu and that's how we're proceeding," added Ryall.
Public health officials were also keeping tabs on passengers on the same flight from Los Angeles as the affected students.
New Zealand has raised the level of its national pandemic disease plan with increased checks of incoming international flights.
"Obviously at the moment we're heading into the normal season of influenza time and so there's going to be many people I suspect in the community getting symptoms of a viral infection so getting runny noses, getting coughs, getting headaches, those sort of symptoms and so I think people need to be reassured that what we're really talking about today is a particular group of people that have been recently in Mexico or in the U.S..
For the great majority of people in New Zealand that might be developing symptoms like this, they've just got the flu or they've just got a cold and so they just need to deal with it like they would normally deal with the flu or a cold and so stay home, be sensible," warned Jacobs.
The deadly swine flu strain has killed up to 103 people in Mexico and infections have also been found in the United States and Canada, with possible infections also discovered in Europe.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None