24 Sep 2009

Reported swine flu increase due to better laboratory reporting

12:22 pm on 24 September 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says an increase of almost 450 confirmed swine flu cases in the Pacific Region is a reflection of better reporting from laboratories.

The total number of confirmed cases of the H1N1 influenza has reached almost 1700, up from 1266 last month.

Dr Narendra Singh, a pandemic preparedness and training specialist for the SPC says the increase is a reflection of improved laboratory testing but not of the number of people infected with swine flu.

"What we do know in the region in general, all the 22 countries, there seems to be a decline in influenza like illness. Perhaps there were concerns about an increase in French Polynesia and Cook Islands but really we know in reality influenza like illness or influenza due to H1N1 is on the decline."

Dr Narendra Singh says the increase in reported cases could be an indication that more people are visiting the doctor if they suspect they have swine flu and more testing is being carried out.