Fiji reports first suspected swine flu case

April 30th, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Suva, April 30 (Xinhua) Fiji’s health officials were monitoring a New Zealand tourist suspected of being infected with the swine flu virus, the health ministry said Thursday.
Officials at the ministry said Fiji’s first suspected swine flu case, who arrived in the resort city of Nadi from New Zealand April 26, has shown no symptoms of the disease so far.

The suspected person was located from Lautoka, the second largest city of Fiji located some 25 km Nadi, officials said, adding that another person suspected of being infected with the deadly virus managed to fly back to New Zealand.

The New Zealand authorities alerted the Fiji government about the alleged case but it was unclear why the traveller was allowed through.

The human swine influenza A (H1N1) outbreak is evolving rapidly. Nine countries have so far reported cases of the infection.

New Zealand Thursday confirmed 16 swine flu cases, increasing the likelihood that the infection could spread to the Pacific Island countries and territories.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) are working to support countries like Fiji in responding quickly and efficiently to this public health threat.

“We have asked all Pacific countries and territories to immediately notify WHO if they identify any suspected cases of the swine flu as requested by the international health regulations,” said Jacob Kool, head of WHO’s communicable disease surveillance and response office for the South Pacific region.

“They are also asked to report to us twice a week on the total number of influenza cases,” he added.

The health authorities in all Pacific countries were initially alerted about the situation April 25.

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