26 Jun 2009

Confirmed swine flu cases continue to rise

10:06 pm on 26 June 2009

The official tally of confirmed cases of swine flu in New Zealand has risen by 36 on Friday to 453.

The Ministry of Health figures are an under-estimate as those with flu are no longer being tested.

Wellington has had most confirmed cases, according to the tally, followed by Auckland and Canterbury.

Australia has recorded more than 3,000 confirmed cases.

Internationally, 55,800 confirmed cases have been reported, including 238 deaths.

Virus spreads in upper South Island

The Nelson-Marlborough District Health Board says new cases of swine flu confirmed on Thursday shows the top of the South Island now has community spread of the virus.

The board confirmed four new cases of the flu, three in Nelson and one in Blenheim. Only one of the four had travelled overseas recently.

Two of the swine flu cases are students at Nelson Boys College. Medical Officer of Health Ed Kiddle says all four are recovering at home.

Special exams may be held

The University of Victoria may hold special exams for students who cannot sit exams because of swine flu or seasonal flu.

It expects about 30% of students to get swine flu, which is widespread in Wellington.

Director of student services Ruth Moorhouse says about 120 students out of approximately 9000 sitting exams until next Wednesday have stayed away because of flu of some kind.

Ms Moorhouse says normally they would either sit the exam the next day or get a doctor's certificate.

But that is not possible during the swine flu pandemic, with doctors under increased pressure and those with flu expected to remain at home and to manage their symptoms.