x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Three more swine flu cases revealed

The Ministry of Health announces new cases raising the total number in the UAE to 14.

ABU DHABI // The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced three new cases of swine flu, according to the state news agency, WAM, taking the total number to 14. The patients, one Emirati female and a Malaysian mother and daughter, are believed to have recently entered the country. The MoH said that the patients were receiving treatment and their conditions were stable. They indicated that other patients who were infected earlier with the disease had been treated and discharged from the UAE Hospitals after complete recovery. With the increase of cases in the country and the World Health Organisation raising the worldwide pandemic alert level to phase 6, a campaign to warn of the dangers of swine flu will be made available to tourists in Sharjah in an effort to raise awareness about how to prevent the illness. The MoH and Sharjah's Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) said they would distribute information leaflets on the illness to travellers staying in Sharjah's 107 hotels. There have been no reported cases in the emirate so far but Osama Samra, spokesman for the SCTDA said: "Such a campaign is necessary to raise the awareness of tourists entering the UAE. "When a tourist checks into a hotel, providing him with such a brochure is important. "It results in two main things; making sure we, as a country, are being safe and secure in every aspect to do with the swine flu, and also showing foreigners and tourists coming into UAE that we care for the public's health and are trying to protect them." The first case of swine flu was reported in the country in May and since then, to combat the virus, airports in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have installed heat-detecting scanners. The machines alert officials if a passenger's body temperature is above 38°C. The illness has spread to 117 countries with more than 77,000 confirmed cases worldwide. mswan@thenational.ae