Two cases of H1N1 influenza confirmed in Pietermaritzburg

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Health authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are calling for calm, after the confirmation of two cases of the H1N1 influenza in Pietermaritzburg.

The Deccan Road Primary School  nine-year learner in Pietermaritzburg passed away last week after apparently contracting the virus.

Now anxious parents and teachers have withdrawn their children from most schools in the area.

Several Pietermaritzburg schools have notified parents about the symptoms.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, has cautioned people to seek medical help if they experience flu-like symptoms.

Simelane-Zulu says her department is monitoring the situation.  “However, we do want to indicate at this point that it is not an outbreak. 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.”

At least two Pietermaritzburg primary schools where H1N1 cases have been reported have started to disinfect parts of their premises.

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

“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 where are going to take this.”