Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu: Three New Cases, Three Discharged

The three suspected cases of swine flu that were mentioned in previous posts here have turned up negative and have been discharged. However, three new possible cases are under observation.

The three new cases were announced by Zeceña Waleska, of the National Center for Epidemiology of the Health Ministry, together with the Vice-President Rafael Espada.

Early rapid tests performed on the new cases came up negative. One of the patients in the San Juan de Dios Hospital and two are at the private medical center Herrera Llerandi.

The three new suspect cases are from Izabal, Huehuetenango, and Petén.

The vice-president stated that more doses of antiviral drugs are being purchased and he stressed that people should not panic. He also talked about the security cordons set up at border crossings and the airport. When asked about the blind spots at the border he said, "You cannot control all the blind spots, but I personally would ask people to take precautions because we are not talking about an epidemic affecting animals but human beings."

Ludwing Ovalle, Deputy Minister of Health, said that the hospital network has made preparations with special isolation rooms. He said that persons who have returned from trips to Mexico or who have had contact with someone who comes from Mexico, if they display cold symptoms they should go to health centers for tests. The deputy minister said that all cases coming in under these circumstances will be treated with the appropriate drugs against swine flu in order to not waste time confirming the infection.

Swine Flu Not Confirmed in Guatemala

The three possible cases detected in Guatemala are still not confirmed by laboratory results as being swine flu. So far, no additional suspect cases have been reported in Guatemala.

Seven countries of the world now have confirmed cases of swine flu. The most recent addition to the list is Costa Rica.

WHO continues at Phase 4 pandemic status.

The number of deaths in Mexico due to swine flu now stands at 152.