4 Aug 2009

Rising cases of flu reported in regions

6:30 pm on 4 August 2009

Health officials say the number of people seeing their doctor for flu is still rising in many regions throughout New Zealand.

They say swine flu may be declining in the metropolitan cities of Auckland and Wellington, but that is not the case elsewhere.

Nationwide, the number of people seeing their doctor for flu dropped off in the latest week for which information is available, but the Health Ministry says that is not the case for many regions.

It says doctors' consultations have continued to increase in Taranaki, Palmerston North, Wairarapa, Canterbury and South Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says swine flu activity differs from region to region, with the number of confirmed cases in many areas indicating numbers in those places are yet to reach a peak.

The ministry says there are 52 people in hospital for swine flu and 14 people have died from the virus.