27 Apr 2009

Pacific countries warned of need for health workers and public to be fully informed on swine flu

3:17 pm on 27 April 2009

The World Health Organisation says countries in the Pacific must ensure health-care workers and the public are fully informed about swine flu.

In New Zealand 9 students and a teacher have tested positive for what is likely to be the virus after a school trip to Mexico, where swine flu has killed at least 103 people.

WHO says it's highly likely swine-flu will spread to some countries in the Pacific.

Medical Officer at the South Pacific WHO, Dr. Jacob Kool, says they are focusing public health authorities' attention on what actions are needed right now.

"The more important thing that every country has to do including in the Pacific is to inform their health-care practitioners, doctors and nurses about this disease, to inform the public about this disease, to tell them how to avoid being infected, and what to do if they are getting the symptoms. Those are really the things that people should focus on right now."

Dr. Jacob Kool says it's important that surveillance is at an optimal level.