25 Jun 2009

Ministry swine flu tally shows continued rise

10:09 pm on 25 June 2009

Latest official figures from the Ministry of Health show at least 233 people have swine flu throughout New Zealand and 417 have contracted the virus since the outbreak began.

Confirmed cases have risen by 31 since Wednesday, but the tally is now an under-estimate because routine testing for the virus is no longer being done in the main centres.

The figures indicate that Wellington has most people with swine flu, at 85, with 70 current cases in Auckland and 49 in Canterbury.

Otago and Southland remain the only places with no confirmed cases of the virus, according to the Health Ministry.

Concern for doctors

An Auckland primary healthcare leader is concerned about the possibility that up to half of doctors and others working in general practice could get swine flu.

John Cameron, medical executive officer at Procare Health, says doctors are worried about the effect on medical practices as the number of swine flu cases increase.

Dr Cameron says medical practices are managing, with substantial help from the public.

Flu 'widespread' in capital

Wellington's Medical Officer of Health Margot McLean says swine and seasonal flu are widespread in the community.

Dr McLean says pockets within the region - particularly Porirua and Petone - have had more cases than others, with corresponding school absenteeism. She says health authorities are busy but coping well.

Meanwhile, Canterbury health authorities say that swine flu is now in most parts of Christchurch. There have been 108 confirmed cases since the outbreak began.

Canterbury primary pandemic group leader Phil Shroeder says 103 people visited the Canterbury Flu Centre on Wednesday, following more than 870 telephone calls to the Flu Line.