Health Minister Tony Ryall has this evening confirmed ten positive influenza results from testing carried out on 13 Rangitoto College students who returned from Mexico early yesterday morning.
“Ministry of Health officials advise me there is no guarantee these students have swine influenza, but they consider it likely. All precautions are being taken to allow for this. However, I am also informed none of the affected patients are considered seriously ill, and most in fact seem to be on the road to recovery,” said Tony Ryall.
“I am advised ten students have tested positive for Influenza A, and these results will now be sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Melbourne to ascertain whether it is the H1N1 swine influenza.” H1N1 influenza is a subset of influenza A.
A timeline when those results will be available will be advised, however it is expected given the global situation that they will be treated with considerable urgency.
Other passengers on NZ1, the flight the Rangitoto College students returned on, are encouraged to consult with their GP or other health professional if they develop flu-like symptoms.
Tamiflu has been released from Middlemore Hospital to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service to treat patients and those who have had contact with them.
The Ministry continues to be in contact with the WHO and is liasing with Australia in terms of what their response at this stage is. We are also working closely with Auckland Regional Public Health, district health boards and other Government agencies including MAF, Customs and the Ministry of Education.
“The Ministry of Health will keep New Zealanders informed of developments.”