Scores of Limpopo residents contract swine flu

An outbreak of Swine Flu (H1N1-virus) has infected many residents in Tzaneen, some of whom are in a critical condition.

One of the many Tzaneen residents who have recently contracted swine flu is Jacques du Toit, owner of Bosveld Smeermiddels, the official distributor of BP and Castrol Lubricants in Limpopo. Du Toit is in a critical but stable condition at Unitas Hospital in Pretoria, reports the Letaba Herald.

Du Toit was admitted to MediClinic Tzaneen on Saturday, June 30, and was transferred to Unitas Hospital on Wednesday, July 4.

READ MORE: Swine flu threatens to make a comeback in KZN

“My dad is connected to machines that are keeping him alive,” Alicia du Toit, Jacques’s daughter, told the Letaba Herald.

Jacques is in isolation, and is currently on a ventilator, dialysis and extracorporeal life support to monitor his lung functions.

The family has thanked the community for its support. Jacques is not yet available for hospital visits from the community, however.

According to Zane Fanie, MediClinic Tzaneen’s manager, Swine flu has not yet been flagged as an epidemic by the region’s department of health.

“There has been an increase in diagnosis and treatment of patients [with swine flu], but not all are admitted [to hospital]. Patients that are diagnosed early enough are receiving treatment from local doctors, who have cleared them to recover at home,” Fanie explained.

“There is no reason to panic. There is very good medicine available, and thus no reason to worry,” he confirmed to the Herald.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to a common cold, and include a cough, sore throat, blocked or runny nose, body pain, headaches, gastrointestinal problems and dizziness. However, if these symptoms persist, they can easily turn into pneumonia, lung infection and other respiratory issues.

Pregnant women and those with weak immune systems are the most vulnerable. Residents are encouraged to book an appointment with a doctor if they exhibit any of these symptoms, and especially if they experience respiratory problems, vomiting, stomach pain, extreme body aches and dizziness.

The virus can be determined using a saliva swab test.

Residents are also encouraged to have the necessary tests done if they are suspected to have contracted swine flu.

This article was translated from Afrikaans.

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