Africa: Almost 70 Travel Warnings Issued as New Swine Flu Outbreak Tearing Apart Children’s Hospitals

South Africa Travel Alert South Africa Travel Alert It’s a week of travel warnings. Earlier on Tuesday, the United States issued a travel alert saying the Africa-based, deadly yet new strain of swine flu is spreading across the continent. South Africa is among 11 countries on the alert list. South Africa Travel Alert A sample of the new virus’s genetic material was found in an outbreak of A (H7N9) bird flu in China that began last year, and in which more than 100 people contracted the disease. Reports state that up to 80 percent of those who died were infected after travelling to China, but so far few people have become infected in Africa. The BBC’s news correspondents say that more countries could soon follow. African Nation Alert Schools across West Africa have been closed as a precaution. The News Year’s Day Public Holiday has been cancelled, and countries are being told to take measures to control the spread of the new flu. West African Region Alert Senegal, and Gabon, have already declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Haut-Ogooue and Ouagadougou, both in western Senegal. Officials say 100 people have contracted flu across the two regions. Abidjan-based AFP news agency reports that the state of emergency is in place for 60 days, beginning on 1 August. The report says it does not affect Senegal’s financial aid or civil liberties. Another state of emergency has also been declared in northwestern Chad where the transport minister says the situation is calm, but locals are afraid of a possible epidemic. Africa Region Alert The International Association of Health Officials says that countries across sub-Saharan Africa should be on high alert. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that an alert is in place to coordinate global action if the situation deteriorates. Africa Region Alert Ambulances with ventilation in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou have run out of oxygen. The WHO says cases are suspected in the capital, and local health authorities are tackling the outbreak. Ambulances have stopped running on windy Tuesday. The Local Emergency Unit (LEU) in Ouagadougou announced on Monday evening that it had activated an emergency planning contingency plan in response to fears over an outbreak of the new flu strain. Burkina Faso’s government said it has been testing people to find out if they are infected with the virus. But it has not said how many people were tested. Just a sample of the virus’s genetic material was found in an outbreak of bird flu in China that began last year, and in which more than 100 people contracted the disease.

M/s Arabiya English, gta, Tengelmann, Lataud, AFP, Lango

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