SUVA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Pacific island country of Fiji has now recorded its second case of confirmed Influenza A H1N1, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
The first case is a 36-year-old man in Nadi who was confirmed of having the virus on Saturday, while the second case, a 32-year-old man also in Nadi, was confirmed of having the virus on Sunday.
The second patient was a friend of the first that contracted the A/H1N1 flu.
Both patients came into contact with infected persons while in Australia recently.
Ministry of Health permanent secretary Sala Saketa said on Monday that all health centers in Fiji was on high alert.
"Our mammoth task is to control the virus and preparing our health professionals in the front line dealing with patients," she said.
Saketa warned those in contact with flu-like symptoms to be careful and to practice good health habits.
"People will sneeze and cough and those near them need to be careful," she said.
Tharid Ali, Divisional Medical Officer West, said there had been 67 samples tested at the state of the art influenza laboratory in Suva using modern laboratory methods and that it was only a matter of time before Fiji recorded more cases.
These were the first reported cases of influenza A/H1N1 in Fiji.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that although the Fiji government is taking the appropriate measures to contain the illness, it is expected that more cases will appear in Fiji in the coming days and weeks.
Chen Ken, the WHO representative for the South Pacific, said inmost patients, the illness is mild. However, in a small percentage of cases, the illness may become more serious.
People at risk of developing severe influenza are persons with underlying conditions such as diabetes, obesity, chronic heart disease, asthma, the very old, the very young, and pregnant women.
The current low pressure faced in Fiji is an additional worry as those in remote areas may have problems accessing medical assistance if they are faced with the signs of H1N1.