Kuwait yesterday confirmed the country’s first cases of swine flu in four Kuwaitis who returned from the United States on Saturday. “I’d like to announce the first case of H1N1 virus in Kuwait,” Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesman Dr Yousef Al-Nisf said earlier yesterday at the ministry’s headquarters in Shuwaikh. He said the patient was a 16-year-old student.
The patient is now receiving treatment at the Kuwait’s Infectious Diseases Hospital including his immediate family who have been in close contact with the young man. We will be very transparent on the swine flu cases and we want to reassure the public that we only have one case of swine flu, not more than that. But we are taking all precautionary measures in order to contain the influenza,” said Al-Nisf who is also the MoH’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Support Services. But later yesterday, Al-Nisf confirmed three more cases.
The four were returning from the US on board United Airlines flight 982 that landed in Kuwait on Saturday carrying 14 Kuwaiti students returning from an exchange program in the US. All 209 passengers were tested in the airport as a precautionary measure. Last month 18 American soldiers tested positive for swine flu in Kuwait.
Al-Nisf appealed for calm, asking citizens and expatriates to cooperate. “We want to ask everyone not to panic. Infected patients can be treated,” he said. He noted that Kuwait is strictly following World Health Organization (WHO) procedures. “We are following the WHO recommended measures from A to Z. The first patient is being taken care of, as per the WHO’s recommendations,” he said.
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