Swine flu declared over in Rwanda, and globally

Wednesday, 11 August 2010 12:26 by RNA Reporters

Kigali: Rwanda said Wednesday that it has not recorded any H1N1 cases (swine flu) for more than four months after the World Health Organisation declared Tuesday that the pandemic was over - urging caution as well.

Following a meeting of its emergency committee, the WHO announced Tuesday that the world was now in a “post-pandemic period”, but that some groups remain at risk of severe illness from the virus. 

“The world is no longer in phase 6 of influenza pandemic alert,” WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said. “We are now moving into the post-pandemic period. The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course.”

The announcement comes as researchers warn that new drug-resistant bacteria could pose a “major global health problem”.

In Rwanda, some 300 people contracted the virus which entered the country mid last year. The spread of the virus led to the closure of some schools which have since opened.

Dr. Justin Wane, of the National Reference Laboratory told RNA Wednesday that the virus was “over long time ago”. He said all people on treatment have since completely recovered.

“The last case was in April,” said Wane.

Government bought several thousand adult and pediatric doses of Oseltamivir. All hospitals across the country were instructed to spare isolation rooms for suspected Influenza cases.

“We are waiting for the vaccine now,” said Wane.

The WHO has also issued a set of recommendations on monitoring respiratory disease activity, vaccination and clinical management.

The WHO said that a number of groups remain at increased risk of severe illness from the pandemic H1N1 virus. These include young children, pregnant women, and people with underlying respiratory or other chronic conditions, including asthma and diabetes.

Patients who have severe or deteriorating influenza should be treated as soon as possible with Oseltamivir, the WHO said.Those who are at higher risk of severe or complicated influenza should be treated with Oseltamivir or Zanamivir as soon as possible.

Researchers writing in The Lancet Infectious Diseases have warned that a new gene that enables bacteria to be highly resistant to almost all antibiotics has been found in 37 patients in the UK. Several of the UK patients had undergone surgery while visiting India or Pakistan.

The researchers warn that a “major global health problem” could be posed by these gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae with resistance to carbapenem conferred by New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1.

“The potential for wider international spread of producers and for NDM-1-encoding plasmids to become endemic worldwide, are clear and frightening,” they said.