The World Health Organization has confirmed 12 new cases of the H1N1 or swine flu have developed in Zimbabwe. The United Nations agency, working with the Ministry of Health, said laboratory tests conducted in South Africa confirmed an H1N1 diagnosis in those cases.
More tests are under way in connection with 300 school children from Nyanga, Manicaland, who were believed to contracted the potentially deadly flu virus.
Reports last month said children in the eastern city of Mutare showed symptoms suggesting H1N1 infections. Cases were also suspected in a Mashonaland East province school.
Some 8,000 cases of H1N1 have been confirmed in Africa, causing 46 deaths, the WHO said - most of them in South Africa, where 31 people have died of the disease.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, told reporter Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the country, which only recently shook off a cholera epidemic, needs more medical staff to fight swine flu.
Dr. Joshua Sibanda, a Zimbabwean physician based in Johannesburg, told reporter Brenda Moyo that the signs and symptoms of swine flu are not all that different from those of the common cold, but swine flu is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.