Monday, June 8, 2009

Swine Flu Outbreaks News

Victoria records world's worst swine flu rate.

Victoria now has the highest recorded per capita rate of swine flu in the world and is being blamed for exporting the viruses around Australia.

The Australian reports the state has already exported more than a dozen swine flu infections to other states, territories and countries, including an NRL player who contracted the illness after last week's State of Origin clash in Melbourne.

Over the weekend, Western Australia, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia all had fresh positive tests to the H1N1 strain among people returning from Victoria, with Singapore and Malaysia also attributing one new case apiece to visitors' exposure to the virus in Victoria.

Queensland Origin forward Ben Hannant, also a prop for the Bulldogs, contracted the illness after performing strongly for the Maroons in their 28-18 win in the opening Origin game in Melbourne on Wednesday.

There have not been any other reported cases of swine flu among the NSW and Queensland Origin teams to date.

Victoria yesterday left its swine flu tally unchanged at Friday's total of 874.But observers fear another surge in numbers after the weekend respite in the state's reporting ends, given its caseload more than tripled last Monday.

Other states and territories, which collectively account for fewer than 20 per cent of Australia's swine flu cases, have seen their numbers jump since Friday by 45 to 177, taking the number of cases nationally to 1051.

Western Australia took the biggest hit, with the number of confirmed diagnoses reaching 14 yesterday - up from two on Friday.

An 11-year-old boy and 23-year-old woman who had returned from Melbourne were among the new infections.

In NSW, the number of reported infections acquired in Victoria doubled since Friday from four to eight, out of a statewide tally of 82.

South Australia and Tasmania also announced one new positive test each to the disease that they attributed to exposure in Victoria.

Victoria has relaxed its testing, tracing and quarantining rules for swine flu in response to its sharply rising caseload.

It has the fourth highest number of infections worldwide after the US, Mexico and Canada, but the highest per capita load.

But, unlike those countries, it is yet to record a single death from the disease, and few hospitalisations.

International alarm over the Victorian outbreaks, however, has spread along with the virus.Malaysian newspaper New Sunday Times in Kuala Lumpur called Melbourne an epicentre for the new H1N1 strain, after an Australian student on Friday became the country's seventh confirmed swine flu case.

The unidentified student flew into Kuala Lumpur with her mother from Melbourne on an AirAsiaX flight with 258 passengers, forcing more than 140 contacts into house quarantine as authorities went into damage control.

On Saturday, Singapore called on its nationals to defer non-essential travel to Victoria.

On the same day, it announced two new swine flu diagnoses, one of which was a 23-year-old Singaporean man who went to Melbourne in late May and developed flu symptoms within the week.

Source Link :-,25197,25602993-26103,00.html

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