Fifth swine flu death reported
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 4:15p.m.
New Zealanders need to be vigilant about their health and hygiene to help prevent the spread of swine flu, after a fifth death from the H1N1 virus this year was reported today.
New Zealand Self Medication Industry (NZSMI) executive director Tim Roper supports the advice of the Ministry of Health to be thorough about basic hygiene, to consider vaccination, and to stay at home when feeling sick.
He says regular handwashing (and drying) as well as covering coughs and sneezes are important in stopping the spread of influenza.
"Clean your hands with hand-sanitising gels when you can't wash them and regularly wipe down or spray surfaces with disinfectant."
People can take steps to build immunity and avoid winter ills through a healthy diet and supplementation with products such as Vitamin C.
"For most people, swine flu is a mild to moderate illness which can be managed at home with medicines that relieve pain and fever.
A 22-year-old Hawke's Bay man, who had an underlying health condition, died on Tuesday morning in hospital.
His death is believed to be the fifth related to swine flu in New Zealand this year.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board said his death was suspected to be from H1N1 influenza, though it was yet to be confirmed by the Coroner.
The man's death came just hours before the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the swine flu pandemic was over and the world had entered a post-pandemic phase.
The step to downgrade followed advice given Tuesday by the WHO's advisory emergency committee of 15 external scientists, who heard presentations from health officials from countries reporting cases of H1N1, including New Zealand.
WHO director-general Margaret Chan said the virus had not gone away, and recognised that New Zealand was still experiencing the effects of a second wave of the H1N1 virus.
Deputy director of public health Darren Hunt yesterday said the country was still seeing a significant level of swine flu, and New Zealanders still needed to remain vigilant as there had been significant outbreaks of influenza in some areas.
"While some countries have seen H1N1 virus decline or crowded out by other strains, this is not the case in New Zealand," he said.
"The pandemic influenza strain is the predominant strain circulating this winter. We are seeing higher levels of hospitalisation in areas that weren't severely affected last year.
"To date, there had been over 300 people admitted to hospital this year with confirmed H1N1, which includes over 30 people admitted to intensive care," Dr Hunt warned.
This week, a Christchurch woman, 44, and a Wellington man, 38, died, their deaths following those of a Northland man, 51, last month, and a Tauranga woman, 48, in June.
Worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories have reported cases of H1N1, and there have been more than 18,440 deaths.
The symptoms of influenza can include a high fever, headache, cough, sore throat, tiredness and generally aching all over.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
In Khandallah, in Wellington, there is a a piece of road whe...
An Auckland father is outraged his 14-year-old daughter was ...
Paul and Yvonne Stokes, and Keith Lush have some good news f...
Shortly KidsCan and Lumino will distribute 8500 packs filled...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.