Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu: South African government clueless, already falling behind

Fidel Hadebe [a government spokesman] says "the most recent case [of swine flu] was reported in Kenya in the 1950's." Really? That's odd because I had my feet sprayed in Transkei and the Free State, and all our bags checked for pork as recently as November 26, 2005. I even published pictures on my blog:
With this description:
I had to have the undersides of my shoes sprayed as there is a serious outbreak of some kind of swine disease in the Transkei at the moment.
SHOOT: At the same time [November 25] H5N1 was circling in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. As a result of this worrying news I conducted the following interview with a microbial expert at UFS:
clipped from

"The most recent case was reported in Kenya in the 1950s," he said.

Hadebe did not respond to The Star's query on Wednesday about whether the second woman was in hospital.

According to Hadebe, the Department of Agriculture had said there were no cases of swine flu in pigs in SA or the region.

Health authorities have been aware since Monday that swine flu may have reached South Africa, but they failed to mention this for two days.

This comes as the outgoing cabinet on Wednesday reassured South Africans that there was no need to panic over swine flu.

On Wednesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the national Department of Health confirmed two suspected cases in SA.

But department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe did not respond to The Star's query about why the department had taken two days to mention the first case.
Blumberg earlier said the woman had travelled extensively - on buses and trains - in Mexico this month.
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