National 15.9.2016 09:37 am

More swine flu diagnoses in Pretoria

Photo: iStock.

Photo: iStock.

Since July, cases of swine flu and influenza A (H3N2) have increased.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says wine flu is spreading in Pretoria.

According to the institute, of the 38 cases reported at the Gauteng surveillance centre, the most were in Pretoria, followed by Eastern Cape with 12 and Mpumalanga with five, Rekord Centurion reported.

Centre for Respiratory Disease and Meningitis head Cheryl Cohen said: “We only manage to monitor the spread of this virus at our surveillance centres because it would be difficult to follow each and every case.”

“I am sure there are even more people who contracted the virus where you live, and data wasn’t captured.”

Pretoria North resident Nadia Rynner, who recently contracted the virus, said she started with normal flu symptoms that got more extreme.

“I felt like I was dying. I had extreme fever, body aches and had trouble breathing.”

The 33-year-old said after the doctor confirmed she had swine flu, she was given Tamiflu tablets, which started to relieve the symptoms.

The institute said the 2016 influenza season started mid-May, and was originally predominated by influenza B virus.

Since the beginning of July, however, cases of influenza A (H1N1) pdm09, known as swine flu and influenza A (H3N2), have increased.

Institute spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh said the swine flu virus had been circulating seasonally since the outbreak in 2010.

When Rekord asked the Gauteng department of health about the spread of the virus, it dismissed the claim.

“The department has not issued any swine flu alert, as there is no such an outbreak in the province,” said spokesperson Steve Mabona.

The institute said it would continue to monitor the situation.

“The institute conducts sentinel surveillance for influenza at a number of sites throughout the country,” said Jimoh.

“Results from our ongoing surveillance indicate that the influenza season is ongoing, and there is widespread influenza circulation throughout the country.”

The influenza season normally runs for 17 weeks.

As it started on May 15, and it is expected to come to an end in the second week of October.

Institute deputy director Lucille Blumberg, however, said there was no cause for concern.

“The 2016 flu season has in fact been quieter than last year’s. This is nothing unusual, and we are nearing the end of the season.”

– Caxton News Service


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