APIA: 12 June 2009 – 29 visiting students and teachers from a school in Melbourne are being quarantined in Apia for swine flu. This follows a quick succession of three students falling ill with flu symptoms within a span of three to five hours. Four locals who have been in contact with the visitors are also under quarantine at the Methodist church hotel where the visitors are staying inland of Apia town.
The Ministry of Health was quick to place the visitors under quarantine and samples sent to New Zealand for tests with requests for results to be returned in forty eight hours. CEO Palanitina Tupuimatagi Toelupe said that the group has all the factors common to highly suspected cases for the flu. More so that the age group are from the highly susceptible, they travel as a group and they come from Australia where the flu has been spreading fast over the last week. The World Health Organisation has placed the warning to level six as the flu becomes a worldwide pandemic. New Zealand officials said last night that a third of the population is expected to be affected by the disease.