Update on H1N1 in the Western Cape | Western Cape Government



Update on H1N1 in the Western Cape

10 August 2009
Official confirmation of second death

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases today confirmed that Johann Hack (42) of the Strand who died on Wednesday, 5 August 2009, was infected with the H1N1 virus.

For more information, visit the NICD website.

Daily Schools Monitor

The Western Cape has 1400 schools. Today 238 schools reported suspected N1H1 cases. On Friday, 7 August 2009 the number was 190. Western Cape Minister of Education, Donald Grant, once again urged principals to take the monitoring mechanism seriously. "Now at least we have a system in place to track the spread of the virus."

Social Development

Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Dr. Ivan Meyer, says "All the facilities under the auspices of the provincial department of social development have been informed on the symptoms and precautions relating to the N1H1 virus. "

Testing and treatment

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) is the authority responsible for confirming all tests related to the H1N1 virus, also the tests done by private pathologists. It is extremely resource-intensive to detect, investigate and confirm all cases, including those with mild illness.

In the private sector H1N1 tests cost about R800, and test results can only officially be confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and results are only available after a minimum of 5 days.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says "I want our people who make use of public sector facilities, not to stay away because of the cost factor. Tests will only be done at hospitals and clinics on people who show moderate to severe flu symptoms, combined with compromised medical conditions."

The treatment for H1N1 - Tami flu - is only available on prescription. In the Western Cape public hospitals and clinics have sufficient stock.

However, if our communities build up immunity against the flu by using standard anti-viral treatments, we have a better chance that the H1N1 virus will not mutate into a stronger form. In fact, laboratory tests have shown that the H1N1 virus and the seasonal flu virus have already coupled and mutated into a new flu virus.

It is important to note that people aged 18 years and younger, should not be treated with aspirin.

The best treatment is to build up your immunity. Should you have flu symptoms, stay at home for 5 - 7 days. Treat with anti-virals, no aspirin, and step up hygiene.

Note to media: The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) will be issuing weekly updates on confirmed H1N1 cases, and the Western Cape Provincial Government will issue those weekly numbers, together with a map that highlights the infected areas.

Please address questions that relate to individual H1N1 cases to the NICD.

Media statement jointly issued by the following Provincial Ministers:

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha
Western Cape Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Dr. Ivan Meyer

Media Liaison / Interview Requests:

Health: Hélène Rossouw
Cell: 082 7718834
Email: herossou@pgwc.gov.za

Education: Bronagh Casey
Cell: 072 724 1422
Email: brcasey@pgwc.gov.za

Social Development: Danny Abrahams
Cell: 083 280 5535
Email: dabraham@pgwc.gov.za

Media Enquiries: