11 Aug 2009

Warning not to get complacent as flu numbers fall

9:10 pm on 11 August 2009

The number of people with swine flu and regular flu in New Zealand continues to fall, but the Government warns the swine virus could re-emerge at any time and good personal hygiene practices must be maintained.

The Health Ministry says there are 41 people in hospital with swine flu or its complications, 15 of whom are in intensive care.

That is down from 52 people in hospital, 20 of them in intensive care, this time last week.

Six people are in intensive care in Auckland, with two each in Canterbury and Otago, and one each in Northland, Waikato, Rotorua, Nelson-Marlbourough and Southland.

The number of confirmed deaths from swine flu remains at 14.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says flu cases could rise and fall over months, and covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick remain important.

Canterbury flu centres close

Almost all swine flu centres in Canterbury will close on Tuesday, as the number of cases in the region declines.

Though there is still some swine flu in the community, the Canterbury District Health Board says the numbers are not high enough to warrant continuing the service.

All flu centres will close at the end of business on Tuesday except for one in St Asaph Street which will operate with reduced hours until next Tuesday.