Increasing swine flu cases push more pre-emptive steps

Ankara, Konya and Batman all reported new swine flu cases yesterday, and Health Ministry officials are expected to increase the pace of prevention efforts ahead of the winter, when flu viruses spread more quickly as people gather indoors.

October 23, 2009, Friday/ 16:05:00
With new swine flu cases discovered in the provinces of Ankara, Konya and Batman, officials have accelerated efforts to take pre-emptive steps to prepare for winter, when conditions are more amenable for the spread of the H1N1 virus.Ali Naili Erdem Anatolian High School in Ankara's Mamak district is to be closed for a week after four cases of swine flu surfaced among students.

The Education Ministry has taken pre-emptive actions against the spread of swine flu by providing courses on TV for schoolchildren when their schools are closed as the number of cases increases. The ministry has assigned 155 teachers to give televised lessons in the event that schools are closed following a rise in the number of swine flu cases among students.

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) are discussing the issue, but courses have started to be aired on television in Diyarbakır, where the schools have been closed for one week after swine flu was discovered in several students.

İbrahim Eryaman, assistant professor at the Meram medical faculty of Konya Selçuk University, stated that the H1N1 virus has been detected in two local people, one of whom is a student at the medical faculty, who came to the hospital after they came down with symptoms of swine flu. The patients were discharged after treatment. Eryaman said the medical supervision of the patient will continue. He also noted that one person suspected of having H1N1 is still awaiting test results.

In Batman's Beşiri district, swine flu has been diagnosed in 11 people, the Batman Governor's Office announced in a written statement. Samples collected on Oct. 19 following the recent increase in flu-like cases in the city were sent to the Health Ministry's Refik Saydam Health Center. The result of analyses indicated the H1N1 virus in 11 people, the statement read.

Meanwhile, the spread of swine flu across the country was brought to the agenda of Parliament by Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies Çetin Soysal and Vahap Seçer along with independent deputy from İstanbul Ahmet Tan. In their parliamentary question for Health Minister Recep Akdağ, the deputies asked if there were any pre-emptive precautions other than vaccinations for students who hope to avoid the H1N1 virus.

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