29 Jun 2009

Otago DHB now managing, not containing, swine flu

9:38 am on 29 June 2009

The Otago District Health Board has announced it is no longer trying to contain the swine flu virus, and is now focusing on managing it in the community.

The district's move to the management phase of the virus follows steps taken by DHBs in Auckland and Wellington earlier this month.

Otago has three confirmed cases but the health board says none involve severe symptoms.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday said 526 cases of swine flu had been confirmed across the country, of which 313 were active cases.

Wellington has the highest overall number of past and present sufferers at 178, followed by Auckland with 151.

The Ministry of Health figures are an under-estimate as they only refer to those cases which have been confirmed by laboratory.

A woman who was admitted to Wellngton Hospital with swine flu 10 days ago remains in a critical but stable condition.

Capital and Coast District Health Board says she also has other underlying health issues, including obesity and respiratory problems.

The 30-year-old was a patient at Hutt Hospital, north of the capital, before she was transferred to Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit.

High cost on schools

The outbreak of swine flu has added financial pressure to some schools, which are having to spend large amounts on relief teachers, the Principals Federation says.

The organisation's president Ernie Buutveld says some schools, which have a high incidence of flu in their area, are blowing their relief teacher budgets.

Mr Buutveld says even schools which have taken a cautious approach and set aside a high level of funding for relievers are feeling the pinch.

He says some will have to rejig their spending to ensure they can still pay relievers.