Monday, July 27, 2009

Swine flu in South Africa - what's happening?

SHOOT: A colleague was saying to me over lunch that her boyfriend was suffering from flu then from a severe upset stomach, fever etc. A few days later, she isn't at work either. She was saying that interest in swine flu is 'overblown' because it's 'just like normal flu'. It's not, it's an exotic virus that our bodies have no natural immunity for. Which means the flu holds the cards to whether we recover or not, and if it changes - which flu's tend to do - then all bets are off. Interesting countries like the UK are publishing feverishly, noting how cases are rising etc. South Africa's media are curiously mum. Either they know and they're not saying, or they don't know. I'm not sure which is worse.
clipped from
Virologists have called for South Africa to build up vaccine production capacity if it wants to be prepared for influenza pandemics such as the current swine flu outbreak.

The group of virologists, hosted by the Africa Genome Education Institute, convened in Cape Town on Friday to discuss local vaccine production and how to deal with viral outbreaks in South Africa.
Professor Barry Schoub, from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said: "Well over 100 000 cases (of swine flu) have been detected worldwide. South Africa had 125 cases by Monday this week. Fortunately they've all been relatively mild cases."

However, this figure may be the "tip of the iceberg" since many cases have probably gone unrecorded.

Swine flu - officially the "H1N1 2009" flu - was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), after it first appeared in Mexico in March.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, worldwide data now shows that its inevitable that every country will get H1N1 and that deaths occur in those with underlying health problems.

USA reports that in the next 2 years 40% of US population will get it, 1 in 4 workers will be off sick, the younger generation will be affected and re-assortment with either H5N1 or H9N2, both with about a 60% mortality rate are becoming a reality. The EU has just approved the first H5N1 vaccine for production after extensive clinical trials.

Weather its man made, aimed at profit making or something more sinister is not the point. H1N1 is alive, well and spreads rapidly regardless of temperature or any efforts to stop it.

Just like the USA and England Europe is also underestimating the H1N1 impact. Some African countries are really putting in a huge effort and are in many ways ahead of Europe in preparing for H1N1.

So what is going on in SA? Well, HIV/Aids is not a problem and a 30% starving figure is ok, so is the new TB, seasonal vaccination is at a healthy less than 1% and resources allocated to all things viral is becoming less every year.

When will all realize that viruses does not exist in South Africa?

How many times has the Government made this clear to you all?

It would seem that some countries just don't learn and others just don't care.

Worrisome indeed.