The number of people in Colombia who are suspected of carrying the
swine flu virus was raised to ten Wednesday. 49 others are under
observation, because they show some of the virus’ symptoms. Authorities
are still waiting for confirmation if the virus really entered
“Colombia does not have confirmed cases,” Social Welfare Minister Diego Palacio stressed Wednesday, while presenting the country’s pandemic plan that outlines the governments actions now andin case the swine flu virus is confirmed to be inside Colombia.
The Minister explained that the ten suspected cases are all people who have been to Mexico and are located in Bogotá, the Caribbean coast and the Antioquia department.These people all suffer “acute respiratory infection accompanied by a fever above 38 degrees.”
The other monitored people only show some of the virus’ criteria, but “it is good to have them observed,” Palacio said.
Also, given that in recent days there has been a sharp increase in the demand for health services, the minister asked Colombians not to cause panic and not to cram the country’s emergency rooms, before there is any security about the actual arrival of the virus to Colombia.
The minister added the government acquired a large quantity of masks and enough anti-viral treatment for 200,000 patients.
Colombia Tuesday declared a “disaster situation” to have the necessary funds to confront the crisis that caused the World Health Organization to raise the pandemic alert level to 5 (of 6). If the flu is confirmed in Colombia — results of the initial tests are expected Thursday — the Government does not rule out drastic measures.