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Swine flu cases in NZ still rising

Published: 5:41PM Wednesday July 29, 2009 Source: NZPA

The number of New Zealand deaths attributed to swine flu remained at 13 on Wednesday, with confirmed cases 44 higher than on Tuesday at 2748.

Meanwhile, as part of its pandemic influenza (H1N1) offensive, the Ministry of Health is urging communities to be aware of those who fall ill and may need friends or neighbours to check on them.

Deputy director of public health Fran McGrath said most people knew of others who lived alone or without good support networks, and they would need help if their condition worsened.

"These may be older people, a single person, or someone who is the only adult in a household of children or teenagers."

Regularly checking on friends or relatives who were alone and ill was important, and those in such a situation were also advised to ask a friend or relative to be their "flu buddy" by phoning them daily to check on their situation.

Dr McGrath says people should seek medical advice if they had influenza which got worse, or if they had influenza and were pregnant, or had a chronic medical condition.