The Ethiopian health ministry today confirmed that it has detected a new case of H1N1 (or Swine Flu) virus in the capital Addis Ababa and its surrounding areas with a confirmed death of four people so far.
Ethiopia’s Public Health Institute Director, Dr. Dadi Jimma also confirmed cases of the deadly virus in Ethiopia during a press conference he conducted this morning in Addis Ababa.
Sources from Addis Ababa indicates the virus has been first detected earlier this week in three major referral hospitals in Addis Ababa with a total confirmed cases exceeding 32 people so far.
The Ministry, however, states that although the country possesses the testing and treatment capabilities for such sub-type of influenza, it says it sent test samples to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States as a matter of precaution and for further investigation.
The “H1N1” flu virus is a public health emergency. According to the CDC, typical influenza symptoms include fever with abrupt onset, chills, sore throat, non-productive cough and, often accompanied by headache, coryza, myalgia and prostration.
This highly contagious disease particularly attacks the very young, elderly and those battling disease and infection.
In a country such as Ethiopia that can not even handle the spread of communicable diseases such as cholera, experts fear an outbreak or pandemic flu would be catastrophic.