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Swine flu cases up 25 in five days

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Kigali: From 14 confirmed cases of people with the H1N1 virus by Monday evening, the number has almost doubled but health officials told RNA the situation is under control, as of Tuesday afternoon. The primary school which has been affected is now closed.

Health Minister Dr. Richard Sezibera told reporters Monday evening that confirmed cases included five staff members of King Faisal Hospital; six members of the initially infected family – in which a mother had been from the United States.

Three others were pupils of Marie Auxiliatrice School in Kigali. The school has been closed. People can be seen passing by covering their mouth is apparent gesture to protect themselves.

However, as of 14:30 (12:30 GMT) on Tuesday, among the new 11 cases, nine are pupils from the affected school, according Dr. Justin Wane of the National Medical Laboratory.

That brings the total to 25 in just five days, from the virus commonly known as swine flu. Asked why the number is exploding so fast in Rwanda, Dr. Wane said the situation here is not unusual because that is how the virus has spread everywhere.

Government says extraordinary measures have been planned already – should a severe outbreak occur. Apparently there are sufficient doses of the swine flu anti-viral that can treat over 14,000 people.

The public is also advised to limit visits to people with flu-like symptoms and to utilize the available toll free hotlines 3334 and 3335 for more information.

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