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MBABANE – The Ministry of Health has confirmed a third case of swine flu in Swaziland.

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MBABANE – The Ministry of Health has confirmed a third case of swine flu in Swaziland.

Masitsela Mhlanga, who is the National Co-ordinator of the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Team under the National Epidemic Task Force, said this person (third case) had recently visited South Africa.

It is suspected that this person could have contracted the flu in that country. Mhlanga said he would not divulge the name and details of the third victim but urged people to be cautious at all times and visit the hospital should they suspect any signs of the flu. He explained that there were four others who were being checked for the flu after showing signs of having contracted it.

He also did not provide any further information about them. “Those who have been diagnosed with the flu are urged to stay home until they are better to avoid spreading it,” he said. Meanwhile, the South African Press Association (SAPA) reported that a 22-year-old student at Stellenbosch University has become the first confirmed casualty of the H1N1 virus commonly known as swine flu, the department of health said yesterday.

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the student died last Friday after suffering from cardiac arrest. “I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family of the 22-year-old university student whose death was confirmed by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to be due to Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 2009, also known as swine flu,” he said in a statement written in his personal capacity.


“The death of a person so young, who was actively building his future career, is indeed unfortunate and deeply regretted.” According to the department’s information, the man went to the campus clinic on July 20 with flu like symptoms. When he did not improve he went to a general practitioner. He left campus and went to stay at his parents’ home over the weekend but after consulting another doctor he was referred to a Western Cape private hospital for treatment. He was treated as a case of atypical pneumonia with antibiotics. Last Monday his condition deteriorated and he was moved to the intensive care unit where he died the following day. A specimen was collected and tested for H1N1 at a private laboratory and specimens were also sent to the NICD for further testing.

“H1N1 was confirmed by the NICD, which is a World Health Organisation reference laboratory, today [yesterday],” said Motsoaledi. “We are encouraged by the fact that the majority of cases in South Africa have so far been mild and we hope that this will remain so despite this unfortunate death,” he said.

He also warned any person with chronic heart or lung disease or who was pregnant that they should seek immediate medical attention if they fall ill, especially those in the age group 14 to 30 years, in which most infections appear to occur.

Doctors who see individuals with flu-like symptoms should consider H1N1 as part of the diagnosis, even when there is no travel history, and treat moderate and severe cases, or those at high risk, early with anti-viral medication, said Motsoaledi.

Swine flu cases do not generally need any special treatment, however, where any doubt exists a doctor or health facility should be consulted.

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