Africa’s first two possible cases of the potentially killer swine flu virus are being tested in South Africa. Both women, one from Gauteng, the other from Western Cape, had “mild symptoms”, said Lucille Blumberg, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

fluIt comes as the African Union prepared to establish a continent-wide response to any major outbreak of the virus. The World Health Organization has raised the swine flu alert, sending a “strong signal a pandemic is imminent”.

The two South Africans had recently visited Mexico, epicentre of the disease, said officials. Neither was seriously ill and one had already recovered after receiving anti-viral treatments. “ We were at the Mexico City airport three times so I thought the cough was just due to jet lag ”
Susan Kok Tested for swine flu

But health authorities said they were unlikely to be able to confirm if one of the women did have the virus as her samples had not been stored properly. Ms Blumberg said swine flu tests needed to be sent overseas for confirmation, as South African laboratories could still only do preliminary examinations.

Local laboratories test results are expected in days.



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