Rumours of new swine flu infections are spreading unnecessary panic, the Eastern Cape health department said on Wednesday.
A small clinic in the village of Mqandeuli, outside Mthatha, was visited by 45 locals complaining of swine flu, said Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.
“That you have 45 [complaints] means there are mischievous elements in communities who are spreading rumours. Those spreading the rumours are spreading unnecessary damage,” he said.
“We want, therefore, to urge people to allow the Department of Health to be the only place where swine flu judgments are made,” said Kupelo.
He asked that community leaders should contact the Health Department if they have any questions regarding swine flu.
In addition to the villagers, seven students from a college in Mthatha arrived at a hospital complaining of swine flu. All turned out to be suffering from only normal flu, said Kupelo.
He added that Mthatha had yet to have a confirmed case of swine flu.
The Eastern Cape has had 25 cases, of which 12 were in East London, four in Grahamstown, three in Port Elizabeth, one in Humansdorp, one in St Frances’ Bay, one in Jeffrey’s Bay, one in Queenstown and two elsewhere.
“The situation remains under control. We are on top of the situation, but we need space to do our job,” said Kupelo.
The first person to die of swine flu in South Africa was 22-year-old Ruan Muller, a student from Durbanville, whose death was reported on Monday.
On Wednesday, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said it was investigating the possibility of a second swine flu death.