Two suspected swine flu cases in South Africa have tested negative, say health officials, meaning there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Africa. Laboratory tests on the women, from Gauteng province and Western Cape, were negative. They had recently visited Mexico, epicentre of the outbreak.

fluIt came as the African Union prepared a continent-wide response for a pandemic. The World Health Organization has raised the swine flu alert level to warn a global outbreak may be imminent. Lucille Blumberg, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said the unnamed Gauteng woman had been cleared.

The other woman, Susan Kok, 58, who had just returned from a month-long break in Mexico with her husband, told South Africa’s Times newspaper she was “so grateful” after also testing negative. “ We hope to establish a continental plan for prevention, and if necessary a mechanism to fight this outbreak that has not yet affected Africa ”
Jean Ping African Union Commissioner

The African Union has been working on an emergency swine flu response at a conference in Ethiopia.



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