KIGALI - After confirmation of influenza A, H1N1 in the region, the Ministry of Health still maintains that there is no cause for alarm since the disease does not result into severe illness and is treatable.
According to a statement from the ministry, African countries that have reported cases at an increase include, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria, Tunisia and Ivory coast.
“Although Rwanda is a member of the East African community, there is no cause for alarm. Evidence available to World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the majority of patients experience mild symptoms and make a rapid recovery often in absence of any form of medical treatment,” the statement notes.
The Director General of TRAC plus, Prof. Michael Kramer has on various occasions also affirmed that government’s emergency preparedness and response plan for the possible outbreak of swine flu is very strong.
“As we continue to monitor closely for any internal outbreak of the influenza, we are well equipped with more than 14,000 treatment doses of Tamiflu, a drug used to treat the virus.
Influenza sentinel-surveillance sites have also been increased to ensure that there is at least one site per province,” Kramer recently told The New Times.
In relation to the spread of the virus, the statement highlights that most of the confirmed cases are travelers who come to Africa but appropriate treatment is already being administered.
By yesterday, cases in South Africa had risen to 75; those in Kenya had hit 7 while Botswana just joined the group by reporting its first case.
Health experts continue to advise that the public should cover their mouths and noses while coughing or sneezing, wash hands regularly and seek medical attention if severe influenza-like illnesses or symptoms arise.
The outbreak of Influenza A, H1N1 commonly known as Swine flu was first reported in Mexico early this year and to date it stands at a pandemic alert level of 6 according to WHO.