Swine flu tally hits 900 in Australia

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has confirmed there are now 878 confirmed cases of swine flu in Australia, as Singapore advises its residents not to travel to the worst-hit state, Victoria.

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This article is directly from ABC News, Fri Jun 5, 2009.

Victoria has the most confirmed cases at 752. New South Wales is second at 74.

Ms Roxon says swine flu will continue to be a problem through this winter and the next despite what she calls marathon efforts to deal with it.

“And I would have thought we’re not at the halfway point, given that we still don’t have an extensive spread in Australia,” she said.

“We are only part way, but closer, to having a vaccine and we are still prepared to put all our efforts into containing the disease as much as possible.”

Ms Roxon says doctors and hospitals around the country will begin randomly sampling flu patients to monitor the spread of human swine flu.

“It gives us the tools to monitor how much of the flu in the coming weeks is seasonal flu, how much is actually this H1N1 strain, and we will simply have to keep monitoring that over the coming months,” she said.

“This is a time to be cautious, where the combination of the flus might turn it into something much less virulent or something more virulent.”

Several states have told children who have been to Victoria to stay at home for a week.

A childcare centre at Narrandera in southern New South Wales has today closed its doors after a child tested positive to swine flu.

Health authorities say all the centre’s children and staff have also been quarantined since yesterday.

Several other schools around the country have been closed to fight the spread of the virus.

Queensland has 31 cases of the virus, South Australia seven and Tasmania five. The ACT has four cases, Western Australia two and the NT has three.

Singapore’s health warning advises residents to defer non-essential travel to Victoria.

The warning, posted on the Government’s website, lists Melbourne and the state of Victoria as being affected by the H1N1 flu.

It tells Singapore residents returning from Victoria to monitor their health for any signs of the virus.

The Victorian Premier John Brumby says the warning is unjustified.

“I think it’s an inappropriate decision. I think it is unfortunate they have singled out Victoria because we are no different to the rest of Australia,” he said.

“The fact is we have been testing in a more vigorous way and so it would appear the number of cases are higher.”

(Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/05/2590239.htm)

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The review "Swine flu tally hits 900 in Australia" was last updated on 08/06/2009.