Swine flu claims nine-year-old victim in Pietermaritzburg

Giselle Dariele Chetty, the daughter of Ward 28 ANC Councillor Candidate Parusha Chetty, has passed away after contracting swine flu. Picture: Maritzburg Sun.

A child, the daughter of an ANC councillor, died on Friday after contracting the H1N1 virus.

Giselle Dariele Chetty, the daughter of Ward 28 ANC Councillor Candidate Parusha Chetty, was laid to rest on Monday while her two-year-old brother remains critical in hospital after contracting the same virus.

Family spokesperson ANC PR Councillor Rachel Soobiah said that post mortem results confirmed that Giselle had swine flu, Maritzburg Sun reports.

“We have spoken to the doctor and the reports state that Chetty had Viral Pneumonia; that is one of the symptoms of swine flu,” said Soobiah.

Deccan Road Primary, the school where Chetty was a learner also confirmed today that there is another grade four learner at the school who has been admitted to hospital as a result of swine flu.

School Governing Body Chairperson Rumen Maistry said that the school had taken double-fold measures to ensure that every learner’s well-being was accounted for.

“We were informed by the parent of the other learner that the child was admitted to hospital as a result of swine flu last Thursday. When we went to Chetty’s home after her passing on Friday, we were not aware of the cause of her death until her father confirmed a case of swine flu with us,” said Maistry.

He added that a circular informing parents of the outbreak and the necessary measures taken had been released by the school and classes would continue as normal.

“We have released a circular that informs parents of the symptoms of swine flu and that should they [be presented] with the symptoms, they must take the necessary precautions. The learner must be kept at home and medical attention must be sought. We have released the circular after liaison with two medical specialist physicians, the department of health, and the department of education. This would enable us to take further decisions in the interest and well-being of all learners,” said Maistry.

Soobiah said that Parusha was devastated by her child’s death: “She has not been able to deal with her daughter’s death … [and] her two-year-old son has also been admitted to hospital after he presented with fever.

“On July 15, Parusha celebrated her daughter’s ninth birthday and then she passed on. So it has been extremely difficult for her. Last Wednesday she was not well and on Thursday her father had taken her to the doctor where she was given medication and administered an injection,” said Soobiah.

“On Friday at around 11am she had woken up and was still weak. She had a meal and then when her father arrived at their home, he was informed by her grandmother that she was unresponsive. Her father rushed her to the hospital but she had already passed on.”

Soobiah also thanked the community for their support during this time.

Swine flu made headlines during the 2009 flu season after it began causing respiratory infection in humans. As a result of the number of people infected by the flu that year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a global pandemic.

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