Date Published: 15 June 2009
Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu - Update
The number of cases of the new influenza H1N1 is increasing in New Zealand, but there are still relatively few cases and only isolated instances of community transmission.
Globally the number of cases is increasing, especially in Australia, and this is expected to continue.
New Zealand is still in the containment phase. This is the reason that New Zealand has relatively few cases. At this time there remains a combination of border management (keep it out) and cluster control (stamp it out).
The objectives of this combined strategy are to prevent, delay and minimise the arrival of further cases of infection into New Zealand and to control any cases or clusters that are found in New Zealand. This strategy is being kept under continuous review.
Our planning is to enable health services to manage large numbers of cases as well as maintain services for those who most need them. An important part of this approach will include advising individuals how to look after themselves at home where this is possible - in the same way they would with seasonal flu.
People with chronic underlying conditions such as severe respiratory illness and severe heart disease will need to be vigilant and seek early medical advice if they develop influenza symptoms, whether seasonal influenza or new H1N1.
Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Fran McGrath warns that seasonal influenza and the new H1N1 influenza will be mild to moderate for most people but may be serious for some people and they should seek advice either from Healthline 0800 611 116 or their GP ? but phone ahead first.
The cumulative total of confirmed cases in New Zealand is now 86 up from 71 yesterday. Of these, 66 are current cases being treated in isolation. There are also 17 probable cases.
There are 15 new confirmed cases of the new H1N1 influenza today. They are:
* a 53-year-old
* a 4-year-old girl
* a 45-year-old man
* a 19-year-old woman
* a further person, whose details were unavailable at the time of this update
* a 20-year-old
* a 19-year-old man
* a 19-year-old woman
* a 24-year-old man
* a 30-year-old woman
* a 13-year-old boy
* a 48-year-old woman
* a 21-year-old woman
* a 2-year-old boy
* a 36-year-old woman
The Ministry has refined advice to international travellers arriving in New Zealand. Better information about the incubation period of the disease means that only people with flu-like symptoms within four days of travel are now considered to be at risk of the new influenza H1N1.
Public Health professionals are present at the border and information is being provided to travellers.
Advice for workplaces
For most workplaces it is business as usual and staff should only stay home if they have flu-like symptoms or if they have received medical advice to stay home. Generally, if a staff member is suspected of having new H1N1 influenza, public health staff will assess them and advise on appropriate action.