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Health Ministry Officials Urge Healthy Pratices In Uncommonly Cold Winter

A nurse prepares a H1N1 influenza vaccine during the start of a campaign against the influenza at a hospital in Tegucigalpa March 23, 2010. There have been 18 deaths since the arrival of the virus in the country, according to Honduras Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health says it is examining high levels of the H3-N2 Influenza virus that has left one person dead and thousands of others infected in Zimbabwe.

The ministry said the strain, though a common type in winter, has been more prevalent this year than in previous seasons.

The Disease Surveillance Report complied by the ministry has found some 140,000 people since May with the Influenza, a marked increase compared to other years.

Zimbabwe has experienced a colder winter season and officials are urging people to heed the symptoms which include fever, sore throat, severe headache, weakness and fatigue.

Head of the ministry’s Epidemiology and Disease Control Department Dr. Portia Manangazira said officials are currently analyzing the latest strain of the influenza virus.

Meanwhile, the health ministry is urging parents to take advantage of a new vaccination against pneumonia and meningitis for infants under 14 months which was introduced last week.

The vaccination will protect infants against pneumonia which is one of the highest child killer diseases worldwide.

Child welfare immunization program manager Mary Kamupota said her ministry has also introduced a new health card which will monitor the growth rate of male and female infants.

All infants used to have similar cards but the ministry has now introduced a blue card for boys and a pink card for girls.

Kamupota said some parents have already started taking their infants for the new vaccinations and is encouraging all parents to take advantage of the program to protect their children against pneumonia which is common during this cold weather.