Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Swine flu warning ahead of World Cup

South Africans should not be complacent about swine flu ahead of the Soccer World Cup as it remains a grave worldwide health threat, Netcare Travel Clinics warned on Monday.

Dr Pete Vincent of the Netcare Travel Clinics said in a statement that the dangers of swine flu, or the H1N1 virus, which has already claimed more than 14 700 lives around the world, should not be underestimated.

“The H1N1 virus could well make a big return to South Africa during our next flu season,” he said. “We will have a lot of people visiting the country over the period of the World Cup. Therefore, the conditions for a rapid spread of the virus will be good.”

Vincent said that while the pandemic was now past its prime autumn and winter peak in many parts of the northern hemisphere, it was still evident in many countries.

He said as a result, South Africans should be ready for swine flu during the World Cup this winter.

Vincent’s warning comes as the Department of Health planned an extensive swine flu vaccination drive of about a million people in March prior to the World Cup.

“The more people are vaccinated against the illness, the greater the protection afforded to the community and visitors to our country. Clinics and pharmacies will also stock the vaccine,” Vincent said.

“Those who intend travelling now or later in the year should also consider having the vaccination.

“One does not want to get sick while travelling and especially in places where you may not be able to get adequate medical support,” Vincent said. — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

US fashion contaminates Africa’s water

Untreated effluent from textile factories in in Lesotho, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius and Madagascar pours into rivers, contaminating the water

Deep seabed mining a threat to Africa’s coral reefs

The deep oceans are a fragile final frontier, largely unknown and untouched but mining companies and governments — other than those in Africa — are eying its mineral riches

Komodo dragon faces extinction

The world’s largest monitor lizard has moved up the red list for threatened species, with fewer than 4 000 of the species left

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…