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Public schools to remain open despite flu outbreak

Education ministry has decided against closing public schools despite a viral flu outbreak in the capital Male.

The announcement comes after the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as the swine flu are also being reported throughout the city.

Ministry said public schools would only be closed if the spread reaches epidemic levels or if the Health Protection Agency (HPA) advises to do so.

HPA meanwhile had downplayed the spread, insisting that the outbreak had not reached dangerous levels in the Maldives so far.

A statement released by the HPA regarding the surge in the spread of a viral flu in Maldives, the HPA said that though swine flu had been previously categorized as a dangerous disease during its initial outbreak in 2009, it is now classified the same as most other common colds due to improvements in medicine allowing for a better combat against the disease.

While noting that members of the public in reasonable health should be fine even after coming into contact with the disease, HPA however advised those with existing respiratory conditions or getting treatment for other related diseases as well as children to be cautious as danger could be present for them after coming into contact with swine flu.
"Swine flu is currently the same as most other colds, this disease poses no additional threats," HPA stressed.
HPA also revealed that it has taken proper precautionary control measures after discovering the presence of swine flu in the Maldives, with a flu clinic opened at the state run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), with easy arrangements for consultation with doctors.

HPA said that the presence of swine flu was discovered after tests were conducted due to the surge in the spread of fevers and colds across the nation.

Symptoms of swine flu include coughing, fever, sore throats, body aches, headaches, tiredness as well shivering. HPA have advised the public to be cautious and consult doctors if symptoms start becoming present.

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