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» 22.04.2010 - Rwanda opposition leader conditionally released
» 21.04.2010 - Rwanda opposition leader arrested
» 02.03.2010 - Former Rwandan first lady arrested
» 16.07.2008 - Rwanda starts male circumcision program in the army
» 08.05.2008 - Canada sells combined AIDS drugs to Rwanda
» 06.02.2008 - Gacaca jails genocide doctor
» 04.02.2008 - Tremors strike Great Lakes
» 23.01.2008 - Mass circumcision in Rwanda

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Health | Society

Rwanda issues alert for swine flu

afrol News, 28 April - The Rwandan government is on high alert about the possible spread of swine flu which has claimed more than 140 lives Mexico in the past two weeks, local reports have revealed. The outbreak has also been confirmed in other parts Europe and the US.

Rwandan officials said the government had issued a warning to all its citizens, though they said the government is well equipped and ready to identify any cases of the influenza, stating that it also has ability to act immediately to prevent transmission levels in case of an internal outbreak.

Local reports said swine flu, a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs that infects people has caused panic in the country with some citizens having banned their overseas trips until the strain is under control.

In allaying the fears of the citizens, government officials said a number of world class laboratories were established for early detection and advanced laboratory services to control new disease outbreaks in the country.

"So far we have alerted the sites about the current situation of the outbreak in order to intensify surveillance. Teams in district hospitals have also been trained on how to assess patients, take specimen and respond accordingly in case of an emergency,” officials told local reporters.

The officials said the country will also look closely into the severe pneumonia cases to assess if they are not related to the new swine flu.

The officials rejected claims that Rwandans could catch the virus from pork and its products stressing that swine influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork and other products.

The virus belongs to a new subtype (H1N1) not previously detected in pigs or humans, according to the World Health Organisation, saying it is investigating the situation in Mexico and other countries.

Local reports said flyers with information concerning preventative measures and general symptoms of the influenza have also been prepared and will be distributed to all border crossings as well as Airport and Airstrips throughout the country.

The symptoms of this influenza include fever, fatigue, vomiting, sneezing and diarrhoea.

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