UCT swine flu victims in good health

27 July 2009

Five UCT students who were quarantined after contracting the H1N1 (swine flu) virus have fully recovered, and are no longer in isolation.

Dr Ian Mackintosh, director of the Student Wellness & Disability Services, said they had been in regular contact with the students and their parents since they were diagnosed a few weeks ago.

He said their symptoms were not serious, and that they had recuperated and were keen to return to normal activities as soon as possible.

Four of the students were exposed to the virus during an inter-varsity squash tournament at the University of Johannesburg, at which the UCT team had eight players and one staff member.

The fifth student is a partner of one of the players.

Media reports suggest that more than 100 cases country-wide had been confirmed.

UCT continues to monitor and assess the risks associated with H1N1 influenza since it emerged a few months ago, and the Student Wellness Centre is geared up to handle any eventuality associated with the virus, particularly as students are returning from vacation, said Mackintosh.

According to Org Health, UCT's organisational health consultancy, the virus is spread from person to person like seasonal influenza, which is mainly via respiratory droplet transmission. Individuals are infected when they breathe in droplets that are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In addition, you can become infected via contaminated objects or surfaces. There is no specific vaccine against the virus, and the most effective means of prevention is to implement good respiratory hygiene measures to reduce the risk of infection and transmission.

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