Suspected Cases of Swine Flu Jumps. PM Not Worried, Says NZ Can Keep WHO Alert Level at 3

The Radio NZ midday news today mentioned that PM, John Key does not think the WHO pandemic alert level needs to be raised from 3 to 4 for New Zealand, while WHO has set the alert level to 4 for the world.  Refer WHO page for more information:

There are 10 probable cases of swine flu and these 10 remain in quarantine.  (It will take a few days for the results to come back from the WHO lab in Melbourne.)

The government says 56 have come forward with symptoms.
Refer: 56 suspected cases of swine flu in NZ )

3 at Northcote have been cleared and require no special follow-up.

For full report refer:

Here is more on the NZ situation from

Swine flu outbreak – Scientists respond
Monday, 27 April 2009, 5:07 pm
Press Release: Science Media Centre

Scientists suggest Auckland students recently returned from a school trip to Mexico with flu-like symptoms are “very likely” to have been infected with a form of influenza A strain – a mix of human, pig and bird flu strains.

Samples from the students have been sent to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on Influenza in Melbourne for testing with results expected to be released in the next few days.
Scoop Audio: The PM, Tony Ryall and Swine Flu
Swine flu has “certainly moved very rapidly” – Health Minister
Monday, 27 April 2009, 9:30am
Source: TV3
The Government is urging anyone who has been in North America or Mexico in the last couple of weeks and is experiencing flu-like symptoms to notify their GP, and if necessary get testing done.
Swine flu – Update 5
Monday, 27 April 2009, 4:47 pm
Press Release: Ministry of Health

Media Release  Update Five From NZ Government

This release updates the one issued at 1230 hours. Monday 27th 4.37pm

A further press conference will be scheduled when the results of tests on the Northcote students are known. Until then, communications will be distributed via this medium.

The Ministry of Health can confirm a group from Westlake Girls High School were travelling in Spain rather than the United States as first thought. Similarly, a group from Pinehaven School were travelling in Argentina rather than the US. Huh

We can also confirm the Rangitoto College staff member admitted to hospital with symptoms as reported earlier has been discharged.

All passengers from all flights arriving in New Zealand from the Americas are being screened on arrival. Five flights from the Americas arrived in New Zealand this morning. Of around a thousand passengers, two were “actively screened”, meaning they had reported symptoms to either their air crew or ground staff. On arrival, these passengers were examined by public health officials and found to not be suspected cases. All other passengers on these flights were observed and no suspected cases were identified. Border and public health staff at the airport would again like to thank the travelling public for their patience while these processes are carried out.

Healthline have experienced a 60 percent rise in call volumes as a result of advice passed via the media to the public. They are receiving inquiries from passengers, recent travellers, and members of the public. Additional nurses have been called in to Healthline and more will be in this afternoon and evening.

The Ministry would like to reiterate that it is important that people 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. Members of the public who have not travelled to these locations in the last fortnight and are displaying flu-like symptoms should manage their illness in a normal way.
NZ Swine Flu Press conference

Strict Monitoring Of Swine Flu In Place
Monday, 27 April 2009, 8:59 am
Press Release: Ministry of Health

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Clare Swinney

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