14 confirmed, mild cases of Influenza among US citizens detected, treated at Bagram Airbase

Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Afghanistan

July 9, 2009

In the past few days 14 cases of influenza (H1N1) have been reported from Bagram Air base among US citizens. All have been properly treated, recovered and returned to work. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also sent an investigation team to the area. The team conducted a rapid assessment of clinics in the area and could not find any suspected cases.

The MoPH is working closely with the US agencies and the World Health Organization to monitor the situation. To date no cases have been detected among Afghans. The latest reports from WHO indicates that 122 countries have reported 94512 cases with 420 deaths.

MoPH Afghanistan is prepared to detect and treat influenza and has a nationwide sensitive surveillance system. The Afghanistan Diseases Early Warning System has 146 centers all over the country with a capacity to detect, investigate and respond to any outbreaks. MoPH laboratories can easily test swabs and specimens taken from suspected cases of influenza. MoPH is vigilantly assessing the situation in Afghanistan, the region and the world and is in touch with different organizations including the WHO.

From the beginning detection of influenza cases in the US and Mexico posed a potential threat to the world and globally the consequences of a pandemic was studied by the World Health Organization and all governments. Probability of a global threat from this pandemic is in a level that according to the media government of Saudi Arabia has tasked experts from WHO and other institutions to fore see the implication of the pandemic phase 6 on the Haj Rituals this year based on the recommendations of the experts, Saudi government many take specific measures during Haj or even the government may take other necessary actions.

A command and control center is in place at the MoPH Kabul and 3 telephone lines are available to provide information and guidance.


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