16 March 2010

Rwanda: Burera Flu Cases On the Decline

Kigali — Following reports of influenza A, H1N1 (Swine flu) cases in Burera district last week, officials in the Ministry of Health have said that the spread has now been contained.

Dr. Justin Wane, who heads the country's swine flu response team, yesterday said that people are now being treated randomly and there is no severe case so far.

"Most of the flu cases in this district are those of seasonal flu or influenza B which is very common in the rainy season. We are now in a mitigation phase where we no longer need to take every suspected case's sample to the laboratory," he said.

"What we do, however, is to treat all flu cases and apparently not many are H1N1, in fact, daily reports show that the numbers are decreasing significantly."

Wane emphasized that should severe cases of the H1N1 influenza A arise, more samples will be taken to the National Reference Laboratory after which immediate treatment will be administered.

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.

According to officials, the Ministry continues to work on improving the emergency preparedness capacity and surveillance.

Across the world, swine flu was first confirmed in Mexico early last year before it spread to the other continents.

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