The Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services has advised the public to take precautions to avoid contracting the spreading influenza H1N1 or swine flu virus.
In a public notice issued on July 17, acting Permanent Secretary Petronela Masabane said the virus had spread across the country since the disease outbreak was reported early in June.
The ministry said to date, 70 cases have been confirmed through laboratory tests, with 35 coming from the capital Windhoek while the rest came from six other local government areas.
“The virus has been circulating in Namibia in the last decade, all year-round. However, cases peak during winter, meaning more people will get ill from this particular (H1N1) strain,” Masabane said.
Of the 70 confirmed cases, 28 are children under 5 years of age, 10 are aged between 5 and 9 while 32 are aged between 10 and 80. The ministry said the virus is primarily transmitted through coughing and sneezing or direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
Children under the age of 5, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems and those aged 65 years and above are at higher risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.
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