New Zealand group return positives to swine flu - RePress

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Wednesday, April 29

New Zealand group return positives to swine flu

from NZPA :

New Zealanders have "unfortunately" tested positive for swine flu, Health Minister Tony Ryall announced tonight.

Melbourne tests on 11 Rangitoto College students who tested positive for influenza A came back from the World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory tonight, confirming three positives to swine flu.

That probably meant the whole group had contracted the virus, Director of Public Health Mark Jacobs told reporters.

He said three samples all tested positive for the same strain of swine flu. A further sample was being retested.

"On the basis of these results, we are assuming that all of the people in the group who had tested positive for influenza A have swine flu," Mr Jacobs.

As a result we are continuing with the current treatment which has been based on this assumption.

We were advised that the lab in Melbourne selected four of the best samples of the very delicate genetic material to analyse, he said.

They found three positive results and one is still to be confirmed, he said.

Auckland Regional Public Health have told those affected of the results. All 10 were understood to be recovering at home.

There is no need to change the treatment and follow-up of the Rangitoto College group, he said.

Treatment with Tamiflu, an anti-viral medication that slows the spread of the virus, will continue.

"They will remain in home isolation and should complete 72 hours of Tamiflu before they can return to normal activities."

The swine flu virus has killed close to 150 people in Mexico and infected dozens in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Rangitoto students returned to Auckland on Saturday from a trip to Mexico . An 11th member of the group has also tested positive for influenza A.

The test results were announced in Wellington tonight, at a press conference attended by Mr Ryall, Director-General of Health Stephen McKernan, Mr Jacobs, and National Co-ordinator Emergency Planning Steve Brazier.

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