17 Jun 2009

PNG quarantines 15 amid swine flu fears

1:14 pm on 17 June 2009

15 people are now in isolation in Papua New Guinea with suspected swine flu.

The country's medical society's president, Dr Mathias Sapuri, says they have taken swab tests of the sick and are still waiting for test results to return from Melbourne.

Mr Sapuri says the ill are being treated with the anti-flu drug, Tamiflu.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands ministry of health warns that the health services would not be able to cope with a mass swine flu outbreak.

Swine influenza is feared to have reached the capital, Honiara, from Australia.

The Solomon Star quotes the ministry's under secretary Dr Cedric Alependava as saying local tests gave positive results for the H1N1 virus but confirmation depends on test results due back from Australia next week.

He says limited health services and funding, combined with unhygienic local habits mean the virus would spread rapidly.