11 Jul 2009

College closed by ministry in Samoa

12:08 pm on 11 July 2009

The Ministry of Health in Samoa has temporarily closed Vaipouli College on Savaii island.

Thirty eight hostel students have displayed symptoms of influenza.

The ministry says H1N1 is highly suspected.

Confirmation of infection with the H1N1 virus will not be received for at least another week whilst sample specimens taken from students are shipped to the ESR laboratory in Wellington New Zealand for testing.

Acting chief executive, Professor Pelenatete Stowers, says the school hosted visitors from Australia and New Zealand within a week of the outbreak.

Radio New Zealand International reports the students are quarantined within the hostel grounds and have been assessed by a team of doctors and nurses.

They are reportedly making good recovery after being given with TamiFlu tablets.

Another 15 people consisting of staff and helpers have also been quarantined.