KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, has cautioned people to seek medical help if they experience flu-like symptoms after a 9 year-old girl died, apparently from Influenza A or H1N1.

Deccan Road Primary School learner in Pietermaritzburg, Giselle Chetty, passed away after apparently contracting the H1N1 flu virus.

Several Pietermaritzburg schools have notified parents about the symptoms.

Simelane-Zulu says her department is monitoring the situation: “We do want to indicate at this point that it is not an outbreak. And we are calling on all the responsible authorities in the different schools and the doctors in the communities to actually exercise restraint because the moment we say it is an outbreak it creates hysteria that is unnecessary.”

Meanwhile, at least two Pietermaritzburg primary schools where type A Influenza, H1N1, cases have been reported, have started to disinfect parts of their premises.

The term has in the past been associated with swine flu but a clarification from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases states that the term “swine flu” means flu in pigs and not in human beings.

Chairperson of Deccan Road Primary School’s governing body, Rumen Maistry, says the school is now closed while a deep clean is being done.

This is where a grade three learner died and whose brother tested positive for the virus.

“So what we did is we sent a notice out to parents that we are acting proactively, that we are sanitising the school, we are sanitising all the ablution facilities and that children should not be in close proximity of this,” says Maistry.