Colombian health authorities raised the number of patients carrying the
AH1N1 virus, or swine flu, to 73 on Thursday after confirming one new case.
The virus is spreading spontaneously throughout Colombia, a professor of the National University warned.
The new case is a female minor who traveled to Miami, Florida. She is treated at home and is allowed no visitors.
Since the break out of the virus, Colombian authorities issued an
alert for possible swine flu in 2070 cases. 663 people are considered
“suspicious cases” because of symptoms that resemble that of AH1N1. Two people died because of the swine flu.
The AH1N1 virus is in stage 6 which means that it is spreading spontaneously throughout Colombia and other countries, virologist professor Manuel Vargas told Radio Caracol Thursday.
Although the government was prepared for the arrival of the disease, Vargas said that there is a clear lack of training of health personnel regarding the treatment of the infection.
“There are about 72 identified cases [now 73], but there might me many more people infected, but not all of them show severe symptoms”, Vargas added.
The Professor advises to cough into tissues, wash hands frequently and to avoid public places if one suffers from symptoms such as fever above 39 degrees, a burning throat with difficulties in swallowing or a cough.
Only in 25 per cent of the cases, he added, there may be gastrointestinal symptoms. Others may experience general discomfort.
The most likely to die from the virus, Vargas explained, are those that suffer from lung diseases like asthma, heart problems or diabetes. But this does not mean that healthy people will not fall for the virus.
The AH1N1 virus will accompany us for a long time which makes it necessary to advance actions in order to prevent the spread of the infection, the professor concluded.