x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Two new swine flu cases in UAE

Two new cases of swine flu are confirmed by health officials in the Emirates, bringing the total to four.

Two new cases of swine flu were confirmed in the UAE yesterday, bringing the total to four. The two infected people, both Emiratis, had returned from abroad and were found to be carrying the H1N1 virus, according to the state news agency WAM. The Ministry of Health said both were in a stable condition and receiving treatment. There were no details of how the infection was discovered. Another UAE national who was confirmed four days ago as having tested positive for swine flu has completely recovered and has left hospital, the ministry said. The Emirati man had flown into the country from the US. The UAE's first recorded case was last month when a man who had visited Canada returned to the country carrying the virus. The man, who works as an academic at UAE University in Al Ain, presented himself to hospital with flu-like symptoms. He was given medication and told to remain at home. He is now said to have made a full recovery.

Yesterday's announcement follows the World Health Organisation's decision to classify the swine flu outbreak as a worldwide pandemic. The Ministry of Health immediately announced it was reviewing screening measures at all airports monitoring passengers arriving for swine flu. Thermal-imaging cameras that can detect fever in people arriving into the country are at Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Airports. A radio and TV campaign offering information on the virus has also been launched. The ministry said in yesterday's statement on WAM that swine flu infections occur and urged people not to panic and deal with cases calmly. People are also urged to report any suspected cases to health authorities. Enough medication, the drug Tamiflu, has been stockpiled by the UAE to cover the whole population, the ministry reiterated. * WAM