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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Athletic young white males first deadly victims of H1N1 virus in South Africa, two pregnant women also dead. Death toll since June: six
August 16 2009 - Kim Hawkey of the Sunday Times of Johannesburg reports that the worldwide H1R1 influenza epidemic, which has thus far killed 4,000 victims in over 170 countries -- is getting an 'unusual grip' on South Africa.
"South Africa is now the world hub of the swine flu pandemic as the country’s infection rate continues to rise.”
By today, the death toll from the H1R1 influenza virus in South Africa had risen to six. Two victims were pregnant women, the other four were males. There have been at least 7,000 verified infections since June.
Picture: The outbreak couldn't have come at a worst time: a medical aid crunch has also hit many families hard: more than half of South Africa’s eight million medical aid members are either broke or fast running out of funds to cover day-to-day medical expenses, the newspaper reports on its frontpage today.
It is also an interesting fact that the first few deadly victims of the H1N1 virus in South Africa were healthy, athletic, young white males: 22-year-old Afrikaner Stellenbosch University student Ruan Muller and Afrikaner paramedic Johann Hack were the first recorded deaths, the third patient was an otherwise unidentified healthy young male in Bloemfontein, and the fourth male victim was a 60-year-old.
WHO has also just issued a warning that all pregnant women showing flu symptoms “must be immediatelyy treated with the antiretroviral drug oseltamivir even before the test results come back”.
Healthy young rugby-players:
The Afrikaans daily Beeld newspaper also reported earlier in the week that four under-21 Lions rugby players were diagnosed with swine flu, prompting organisers to cancel a game against Boland.
Another 22 players in the Lions under-19 and under-21 groups also fell ill, said coach Timmy Goodwin.In the Currie Rugby Cup, Cheetahs players Louis Strydom and Naka Drotske were also ill. Six players in the Free State’s under-19 rugby team have been pulled out of a game against the Griffons in Bloemfontein on Friday because they were suffering from flu. And several schools in Pretoria North - a traditionally Afrikaner suburb -- have also confirmed cases of swine flu.
Swine flu was first recorded in South Africa in the middle of June. By early August, the NICD put the number of cases in the country at 480. SA swine flu hotline.
Apparently the current number of 'officially confirmed" cases by the government was close to 2000 - but the actual number of infections 'could be well over 7,000', private laboratories' spokesmen told the Sunday Times newspaper. Laboratories this week said there had been a “dramatic” increase in requests for tests for the virus.
- And the results from private laboratories showed that the infection rate was likely to be more than three times the official figures from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). which only processes about 20 to 30 samples a day – of which 20% show up as positive. However, its spokesman Nombuso Shabalala, said they were no longer confirming all the notified cases in an interview with Hawkey - adding that "the infection rate was likely to be fairly high”.
The private laboratories were much more productive processing an average 400 samples a day. since the start of the outbreak in June.The newspaper cited Dr Jan van Rooyen, CEO of private laboratory Ampath, as noting that it had tested 5,500 since the outbreak in June. Pathcare labs showed a "20-times increase' in flu-test demands and had to purchase extra equipment for testing. The Sunday Times quoted Pathcare’s CEO Dr John Douglass as saying that at weekends, they now average 140 samples and up to 700 a day on weekdays.
- 7.000 infections this past month:
- The 20% or so positive results puts the actual infection rate at above 7,000 for the past month alone, the Sunday Times journalist points out.
World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Härtl commented that SA was “unusual” in that the “upswing” in infections came near the end of the southern-hemisphere's winter: in the rest of the Southern Hemisphere cases had spiked early in winter.
Worldwide, the WHO statistics say 170,000 people contracted the virus, and that more than 1,400 died of it. However Härtl noted that their statistics were “understated” because not all cases were being recorded any more.
WHO warning: symptomatic pregnant women must get immediate ARV treatment against H1R1 influenza virus even before test results come back:
- ”Treatment with the antiviral drug oseltamivir should be administered as soon as possible after symptom onset. As the benefits of oseltamivir are greatest when administered within 48 hours after symptom onset, clinicians should initiate treatment immediately and not wait for the results of laboratory tests.http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/notes/h1n1_pregnancy_20090731/en/index.html
- South Africa ‘unusual outbreak”
- “Pandemic influenza H1N1 has now been reported in over 170 countries and territories worldwide. While the case counts no longer reflect actual disease activity, WHO is actively monitoring the progress of the pandemic through frequent consultations with the WHO Regional Offices and member states.
Of particular interest is the situation in temperate countries of the Southern Hemisphere, which are now passing through their winter season. This season, pandemic H1N1 has been the predominant influenza virus in nearly all of the temperate regions of Southern Hemisphere, with South Africa being a notable exception. Australia and countries in the southern part of South America experienced rapid increases in cases of pandemic influenza early in their winter season. These same areas are now starting to report decreases in the numbers of people seeking care and being admitted to hospital. Although the virus is still circulating in these areas as it moves into areas not affected earlier, the overall national trends are downward. South Africa, in contrast, experienced an early influenza season with a seasonal subtype, influenza A (H3N2). As the influenza season in South Africa reached its peak in early to mid June and began to decline, pandemic influenza H1N1 appeared and has now become the dominant subtype seen there as well.
- WHO STATISTICS H1R1 INFLUENZA WORLDWIDE: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_08_12/en/index.html
- http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1046971 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Lancet Laboratories in Richmond, Johannesburg, South Africa can process tests for some 8,000 a day.
It has a staff of 40 specialist-pathologists.
If you vote ‘yes’ -- do by all means also join the WC2010 boycot-campaign on Facebook and help spread the word!
Become pro-active also by placing warnings on football sites -- namely that it’s just too dangerous in South Africa, that people should just stay away, that the cops can’t even protect the population, let alone an extra 350,000 football fans. Point out that the fans will be seated cheek-to-jowl with the ‘poorest SA citizens’ who are receiving free tickets from FIFA to each game…
There are a great many reasons why the WC2010 should be boycotted even though the stadia are actually beginning to look as if they are being completed on time, despite all the construction-workers’ strikes and boycots.
Recently, a senior policing expert in South Africa warned for instance, that the FIFA World Cup 2010 is every terrorist’s dream – and read why he says so on: http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/08/wc2010-every-terrorists-dream-warns_12.html
And matters could be even worse than feared: South Africa also announced that there would be ‘no immigration checks for WC2010”. http://www.fin24.com/articles/default/display_article.aspx?ArticleId=2540837
Millions of starving South Africans won’t benefit from WC2010
And many other people also argue that with so many millions of people now being able to only afford one meal a week – it’s highly unethical for the government to waste so much money on the WC2010 – besides the fact that it is just too dangerous for the 350,000 tourists who are expected to pitch up.
It’s exactly those 120,000 poor free-ticket recipients who cause the most crime…
FIFA’s move this week to hand out 120,000 free tickets ‘to the country’s poorest residents’, also endangers the foreign visitors in the stadia even more: for it’s exactly those poorest of the poor who are forming armed gangs, attacking, looting, raping and killing hapless South Africans… So is FIFA going to have to house these free-ticket recipients in apartheid-style – by keeping them away from the ‘wealthy’ foreign visitors in the stadia?
As far as the ANC-regime’s promises of ‘extra jobs at the WC2010’ are concerned – what happens to those ‘jobs’ at the end of the two weeks of football tournaments in June 2010 ?