Six Ethiopian nationals have been quarantined at St. Paul’s Hospital from Wednesday June 17 after they were suspected of contracting swine flu.
As of June this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared swine flu a pandemic.
The suspects, who were quarantined after being discovered at Bole International Airport, are presently in a good condition at one ward of the hospital, which had been specially prepared to receive any swine flu cases.
It is suspected that the patients contracted the flu during stays abroad.
The Ministry of Health recently announced after the outbreak of the flu that it has selected 30 hospitals in the country to distribute the medicine in case the disease crosses into the country.
The ministry has also imported all the necessary medicines to treat the flu. It imported ‘Tamiflu’, a WHO recommended medication against the swine flu. The imported medicine is worth three million dollars and is designed to treat 100,820 people, according to health officials.
The national strategic plan of Ethiopia prepared by the National Zonetic Diseases Council is to be reorganised to tackle 18 health risks, including influenza.
To help physicians in the country to easily identify the new influenza and treat it on time, the ministry has distributed a standard case definition for it, along with the medicine.
The ministry has also imported a remote sensor, which enables it to easily detect people entering the country who are infected.
South Africa also announced its first case last week involving a 12-year-old boy, who had flown in from the US.
Although the source of the outbreak in humans is still unknown, cases were first discovered in the U.S. and officials soon suspected a link between those incidents and an earlier outbreak of late-season flu cases in Mexico.
In early April many, including Egypt, believed that the main cause of the disease were pigs and started killing pigs and banning imports of pork. However, no one has yet been able to prove that the epidemic is caused by pigs.
Within days, hundreds of suspected cases, many of them fatal, were discovered in Mexico, with yet more cases found in the U.S. and several other countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
More than 70 countries have reported roughly 39,620 cases of swine flu worldwide with 167 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.