Swine flu test comes back negative

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pretoria - The laboratory results on the one suspected case of swine flu from the Western Cape province has come back negative.

Susan Kok, 58, had flu-like symptoms when she returned from a month-long holiday in Mexico with her husband. She has been waiting for laboratory tests to determine whether she was infected or not.

Deputy Director, Dr Lucille Blumberg, from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases confirmed with BuaNews that the tests had come back negative.

"Yes the results are back and she tested negative, she is well and there is no risk to anyone," said Dr Blumberg on Monday.

Dr Blumberg said the patient had recovered fully and there were no secondary cases.

This would mean that there are no current cases of suspected swine flu in the country.

Last week, a woman from Gauteng who was suspected of carrying swine flu after also visiting Mexico also tested negative for the disease.

Meanwhile, a Joburg couple have been placed in quarantine for eight days to be monitored for swine flu in Hong Kong, after a Mexican who had stayed in their hotel was confirmed to have the virus.

Faghmi and Mari Abrahams are among the 300 guests and staff of Metropark Hotel in Wanchai, Hong Kong.

The lock-in at the four-star hotel began on Friday after a Mexican who had stayed there became Asia's first confirmed case of human swine flu. He remained in a stable condition, officials said yesterday.

Emergency measures have been taken across the world in places where the virus has been confirmed, but only Hong Kong has isolated an entire hotel.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Nomfanelo Kota told BuaNews that Faghmi and Mari were the only South Africans in the hotel.