SOLOMONS LACKS CAPACITY TO HANDLE FLU OUTBREAK

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One confirmed case isolated in hospital

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 15, 2009) – A Solomon Islands official says the nation might lack the capacity to handle a major swine flu outbreak.

Under-Secretary for Health Improvement, Doctor Cedric Alependava, told Pacific Beat because of a labour shortage the nation might struggle with an outbreak.

But he says their preparedness task force is working hard to avoid any swine flu epidemic in the country.

"We have surveillance in place, laboratory staff in place... all the necessary procedures whereby preparedness taskforce should undertake, we've already done that," he said.

It comes as Solomon Islands health authorities confirmed their first case of swine flu.

The AFP news agency reports that the infection has been confirmed in a man who had been studying in Australia and who returned to Solomon Islands last week for a holiday.

He's now been placed in isolation in a hospital in the capital, Honiara.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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