Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Francistown registers more swine flu cases as infections continue to rise

The Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Sheenaz El Halabi, revealed at a press briefing on Wednesday that Botswana has registered 13 cases of the AH1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu.
She said that Francistown had confirmed 6 cases of the flu, adding that the statistics did not imply that the infected people were locals of Francistown.
Halabi said that two of the patients were from Serowe, 1 from the North East, 1 from Ghanzi and 2 were Francistowners.
Halabi told the media that there were so far no deaths resulting from the influenza.
“There are 7 males and 6 females between the ages 12 and 49 years.
All the people are reported to have been discharged with the exception of 1 individual who is still hospitalized.
Even though the flu has proven to spread profusely within a short period since the first case was confirmed, Halabi said they have realized a scenario whereby patients show mild symptoms.
On being asked whether they had established if any of the infected people contacted the virus in the country, she said that the initial 4 cases were traced and they had either traveled to affected areas or had contact with someone who did, stating however that “it is too early to get a synopsis of how they contacted the virus”.
Halabi further explained that they had only received results early that morning and investigations were still ongoing.
Though she also said that the first individual to be confirmed as having the flu had died, she was quick to clarify that he did not die from the H1N1 as he had other underlying conditions.
She also revealed that they were hoping to perform tests in the country by end of August, adding that “we will still need to send samples to South Africa for validity”.
Training, she said, should begin soon with technicians from South Africa training local lab staff.
Mokgweetsinyana Setshwana from the ministry added that WHO has to accredit the lab before it is fully running.
So far, the influenza has affected Jwaneng, with 1 case having been confirmed, 5 in Gaborone, 6 in Francistown and Kweneng East with 1 confirmed case.


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