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    Namibia battling Influenza A H1N1 and Hepatitis E

    APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

    Namibia’s Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Bernard Haufiku on Thursday called for calm following the emergence of Influenza A H1N1 and Hepatitis E in the southern African country.

    Parents of school-going children went into panic mood after a six-month old baby boy tested positive for H1N on 22 June 2018 at a private clinic in Windhoek.

    Ever since, 16 laboratory tests confirmed cases of Influenza, which has since claimed two lives.

    During a briefing in Windhoek on Thursday, Haufiku warned that cases of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus are expected to rise at least until the end of winter.

    However, he denied that the country is not having an outbreak of Influenza A H1N1.

    “Influenza-like viruses circulate and change over time, and when new strains emerge, they have the likelihood of causing outbreaks and pandemics. Over a period when the strains become part of the circulating seasonal flu viruses, they usually do not cause outbreaks and pandemics anymore,” the minister explained.

    He said the country is currently in the process of establishing an influenza sentinel surveillance to enable it determine its endemic levels, thresholds and detection of circulating and emerging strains.

    His ministry also updated the nation on the current situation on the Hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia.

    The outbreak was first declared in Windhoek on 14 December 2017, and since then, sporadic cases were being reported throughout the country.

    Omusati region in northern part of the country and more recently, Erongo Region have declared outbreaks of Hepatitis E.

    The National Health Emergency Management Committee has urged all the regions to implement preparedness, prevention and control measures, as such reports of more cases are expected throughout the country.


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