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Sudan remains free of swine flu - official

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June 14, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan has yet to record any cases of swine flu, the ministry of Health said Friday as global fears of a new pandemic rose.

The death follows about 145 deaths in the Americas, mostly in Mexico and the US. An estimated 30,000 people in 74 countries have been infected, says the World Health Organization, which on Thursday raised the pandemic influenza alert system to its highest level, Phase 6.

Reacting to WHO declaration, Fatih Malik, ?Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Fatih Malik said Sudan is free of any suspected case of swine flu.

He further added that his ministry is currently working to tighten controls at airports in Khartoum, Juba and Port Sudan.

Malik stressed the ministry has sufficient provisions of adequate medication enough for one hundred thousand patients, he said.

He also said that they pay much attention to the Halfa port, in northern Sudan at the Egyptian border.

On Saturday Egypt reported three new cases of swine flu, as two children and a Colombian woman tested positive for the (H1N1) virus, bringing to 18 the total.

In Juba, Minister of Health Government of South Sudan Joseph Manytuel stressed that his ministry had Increased Surveillance at Juba airport and equipped it with a device to diagnose the (H1N1) virus reaffirming coordinating with national authorities to provide the necessary treatment if any case is detected.

WHO said the drug Tamiflu, which was previously used to treat SARS, had proved to be effective in cases of swine flu.

The World Health Organization, which formally declared swine flu a pandemic Thursday, has yet to offer guidelines on how many people should be vaccinated and who should be first. But some western governments are moving ahead with their own plans.

(ST)

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