Date Published: 5 June 2009

Update on Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu in New Zealand

Health News from New Zealand.

New Zealand situation

The cumulative total of confirmed cases in New Zealand is now 12, up from 11 yesterday.

The new confirmed case is a passenger off Air NZ flight NZ5 which arrived from Los Angeles on 31 May 2009. This person and their close contacts are now in isolation at home and being treated with Tamiflu.

The cumulative total of probable cases is now 11, up from 10 yesterday. Details about the new probable case will be provided once that information comes to hand.

There are currently 58 suspected cases, down from 66 yesterday. The numbers of suspected cases fluctuate as more people with symptoms arriving from affected areas are assessed (treated and isolated), and as laboratory testing rules out some suspected cases.

There are 66 people in isolation or quarantine and being treated with Tamiflu. This is up from 63 yesterday. The numbers of people in isolation vary according to when they complete 72 hours of the five-day course of Tamiflu.

We are watching with concern the rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in Australia, particularly in the state of Victoria and in some Melbourne schools. The continuing rise in the number of overseas cases notified to the World Health Organization and the sudden increase in the number of confirmed cases in our closest neighbour make it increasingly difficult to keep influenza A (H1N1) out of New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health will be reinforcing messages on reducing the spread of influenza through a public information campaign that starts this Saturday. Radio and newspaper advertisements, posters at airports and billboards will outline the practical steps that people can take to reduce the spread of winter viruses including influenza. These steps include staying home if unwell and increasing personal hygiene (covering coughs and sneezes and hand hygiene). The information campaign also advises the people to get prepared for the likely future spread of Influenza A (H1N1) in New Zealand. These preparations can include having sufficient supplies of food, water and medicines at home to cover a period of illness and making childcare arrangements in case some schools may need to close temporarily.

Anyone who has recently travelled overseas and is ill with influenza symptoms is advised to phone their GP or Healthline (0800 611 116) for medical advice.

Cruise ship update
The woman who tested positive for Influenza A while on board a cruise ship travelling from Brisbane to Auckland has been cleared of having Influenza A (H1N1) swine flu.

Samples were re-tested at a laboratory in Auckland yesterday. The woman and her close contacts have been advised of this result and are now free to continue with their normal activities.

International Update from the World Health Organization

As of 06:00 GMT, 3 June 2009, 66 countries have officially reported 19,273 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 117 deaths. As at 5am, 5 June, Australia has reported 878 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection, up from 634 at 5am on 4 June.



Also in the News:

Acute respiratory infection warning for bus and tram users - 17 Jan '11

Increased UK internet searches for flu info on NHS website - 6 Jan '11

UK Campaign to remind people to help prevent spread of flu - 30 Dec '10

Half of swine flu deaths were in previously healthy people - Liverpool Univ - 13 Jul '10

Health of future generations determined by childhood conditions - 25 Jun '10

Canada works with National and International Partners to Manage the Spread of the H1N1 Flu Virus - 29 Jun '09

NZ moves to management phase of H1N1 outbreak - 19 Jun '09

NZ remains in containment phase of H1N1 outbreak - 18 Jun '09

Archangels Jophiel and Haniel are said to take special interest in assisting etchers and engravers.

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