h1ni.jpgZimbabwe is now carrying out H1N1 tests locally at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory in Harare, a situation that is likely to speed up tests on the disease’s suspected outbreak in Tsholotsho.


The tests for the 331 suspected H1N1 cases in Tsholotsho are likely to be out soon as Zimbabwe is now conducting the tests locally.
Previously, tests for the deadly disease were being conducted in South Africa.


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Retired Brigadier Dr Gerald Gwinji expressed optimism that the results will be out soon, adding that the ministry has enough stock of the drug used to cure H1N1.
“All the people who were presenting with symptoms of the virus underwent rapid diagnostic testing and were put on tummy flu medication. We have not received any other reports of suspected cases from any other districts besides Tsholotsho,” said Dr Gwinji.


An integrated rapid response team has been dispatched to Tsholotsho District in Matabeleland North province where 331 people are suspected to have contracted the deadly H1N1 virus.


Symptoms of the deadly virus that sparked worldwide panic last year have been detected in more than 300 pupils and 31 teachers from 29 primary schools in Matebeleland North province.


As of last week, 215 pupils from Mkhubazi Primary School and 13 teachers received H1N1 treatment after undergoing rapid diagnostic testing.


The first two cases to test positive for the virus were from Magama Primary School.


Unconfirmed reports say it is believed that the outbreak has forced some Grade 7 pupils to miss their final examinations.