Western Australia Confirms Second Swine Flu Case

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The Department of Health has today confirmed Western Australia’s second case of human swine influenza in a 17-year-old female from Hillary’s.

The teenager had been in Melbourne over the Western Australian long weekend when she began experiencing flu-like symptoms on the Sunday.

Acting Director Communicable Disease Control Dr Paul Effler said she then flew to Sydney and returned to Perth on Qantas flight 583 arriving at 10:30pm on Monday 1 June.

“We are currently tracing people who were seated near her on the flight and they will be asked to remain in home quarantine and take anti-viral medication for seven days,” he said.

“The teenager went directly to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital from the airport where she had swabs taken before being discharged to home isolation. The results became available late yesterday afternoon.”

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Public Health staff have provided the girl, and her mother and boyfriend, with anti-viral medication. They will remain in home quarantine for seven days.

Western Australia’s first swine flu case, a 30-year-old Bedford man, has now recovered from the illness.

More than 500 cases of swine flu have now been confirmed in Australia, with the vast majority of them in the eastern states.

Dr Effler said there was no need for the public to panic as in most instances the swine flu virus appeared to cause a relatively mild illness.

“I would encourage people to maintain good personal hygiene including covering your nose and mouth if sneezing and coughing, frequent hand washing and staying home if you are sick to help manage the spread of viruses in the community,” he said.

People should continue to get their annual influenza vaccine, particularly people over 65 and under five and other vulnerable groups.

While the current influenza vaccine won’t protect against this new strain of swine influenza, it will protect against serious illness caused by seasonal influenza.

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