Swine flu deaths continue to rise

Friday, September 25, 2009

Johannesburg - The number of H1N1 flu deaths in South Africa continues to climb with the figure now standing at 59 deaths, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday.

"Of the 59 deaths, almost half were pregnant women," NICD spokeswoman, Nombuso Shabalala told BuaNews on Friday.

According to the NICD, 39 of the 59 were women, while the remainder were men.

Shabalala said other major factors leading to the deaths were obesity and diabetes.

The highest number of laboratory confirmed cases were recorded in Gauteng followed by the Western Cape.

The first swine flu death was a 22-year-old student from Stellenbosh University; the second was a man from KwaZulu-Natal and the third was a 42-year-old male from the Western Cape.

As part of government's communication efforts on the pandemic, the department has established a hotline and dedicated email address, where the public can request more information or ask specific questions related to the H1N1 Influenza.

The hotline number is 0861 DOH CDC or 0861 364-232. The email address is H1N1@health.gov.za