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May 4, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Human race piggy in the middle as Swine Flu spreads

The great New Zealand belief that our relative isolation will protect us come the apocalypse was shaken last week when a group of Auckland teenagers were amongst the first people outside of Mexico to contract the swine flu virus in the recent outbreak.

A number of other cases are being investigated across New Zealand.

The recent outbreak of swine flu originated in Mexico, where it has resulted in at least 60 people since mid-March. It quickly spread to the United States, and several cases have been confirmed in Europe, most notably in Spain and Scotland.

“Swine flu” describes a number of influenza viruses in pig populations, some of which can be transmitted to humans. The current outbreak of swine flu is the H1N1 subtype of the influenza virus strain A.

Health officials across the world have reminded people that basic hygiene is amongst the best method to prevent the contraction and spread of all strains of influenza. This includes washing hands with soap and hot water, drying them well, and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

The Ministry of Health has advised that members of the public who have travelled to Mexico or North America in the last fortnight should contact Healthline (0800 611 116) for information regarding the situation. They should seek medical advice if they are displaying flu-like symptoms.

United States officials are confident that if the flu reaches pandemic proportions a vaccine will be relatively easy to develop.


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