9 March 2010

Rwanda: Swine Flu Reported in Burera

Kigali — One month after the situation had stabilized; new cases of the influenza A, H1N1 commonly known as Swine flu have been confirmed in Burera district, Northern Province.

This was revealed yesterday, by Dr. Justin Wane, the Head of the Swine flu response team in the Ministry of Health.

According to Wane, at the beginning of February, the infection rate went down completely with only one or two cases reported in a week. However, with the seasonal flu at hand, infections were projected to increase.

"We received reports that cases of swine flu in Burera were on the increase. Samples were taken for testing and at the beginning of last week, there were six laboratory confirmed cases in this district," he said.

"We are still conducting more tests so we are yet to have an updated report. There number of seasonal flu cases at the moment is also high and one problem we are facing is that most people are confusing these common flu infections to the influenza A H1N1."

Wane advised that it is important for the public to remain very vigilant as regards prevention.

"There are over 10,000 doses of Tamiflu to treat those who are infected as we continue to monitor the situation therefore, there is no cause for alarm," he added.

Medical officials add that major prevention measures include covering of noses and mouths when sneezing and coughing, washing hands regularly and accessing quick medical consultation for suspected cases.

The internal outbreak of the influenza A, H1N1 was first reported on October 7 last year, and since then, close to 400 cases have been treated and fully recovered.

Through TRAC Plus, the National Reference Laboratory and other institutions, the Ministry continues to work on improving the emergency preparedness capacity and surveillance.

Globally, swine flu was first confirmed in Mexico early last year before it spread to the rest of the world.

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