12 Jun 2009

Samoans join Australian group in Apia quarantine amid swine flu fears

3:31 pm on 12 June 2009

Medical supplies have arrived in Samoa as an Australian school group is quarantined in an Apia motel with suspected swine flu.

The director general of health Palanitina Tuouimatagi Toelupe says in addition to the school party of about 30 from Melbourne, six Samoan staff from the motel are also in quarantine.

One of them is a breast feeding mother.

Four students who are unwell have had swabs sent to New Zealand for testing and they are taking the antiviral medication Tamiflu.

The Director General of Health says medical supplies, including masks, have been sent by China.

"Assistance from China arrived, the students got sick, we quarantined them, and then this morning we got the declaration from the World Health Organisation that the golbal pandemic alert is on and precautionary measures have shifted to Phase Six. All these things seem to be happening at once."

Palanitina Tuouimatagi Toelupe

If confirmed, these would be the first cases of swine flu in Samoa.

Fourteen other people have been tested and treated in Samoa but these suspected cases did not turn out to have the H1N1 virus.