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For those of you traveling from abroad to South Africa for the Highway Africa conference, here’s a health advisory on the pandemic Influenza A/H1N1 2009, commonly known as swine flu, that we recommend you to read. Swine flu is highly contagious, which means it is very easily and rapidly spread from person to person. But most people infected with the virus experience a mild case from which they can recover fully without medical or anti-viral treatment.

Those people at risk of a serious infection usually have underlying problems or chronic disease conditions. In particular, young children, the elderly and pregnant women are considered to be at increased risk of a more severe infection.

Symptoms
There are no clear features to distinguish swine flu from seasonal flu. Both cause “flu-like symptoms” which are typically: a recent onset of a fever of 38°C or higher; a sore throat; a runny or blocked nose; coughing and sneezing; muscle aches; and/or vomiting and diarrhoea.
In serious cases of flu, the following signs would indicate that urgent medical attention is needed:
• Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Confusion
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
It is no longer recommended that routine testing for swine flu be performed in people who have been in contact with an infected person. Most healthy people who become infected are expected to overcome the illness without any problems or complications. If people are in any doubt, they should contact a medical practitioner. These doctors will decide whether or not administration of oseltamivir (Tamiflu or its generics) is indicated.

Prevention
Seasonal flu and swine flu viruses are relatively robust and the latter may survive outside of the body for between two and eight hours at room temperature. Infection can result if surfaces contaminated with the virus are touched within that time (e.g. computer keyboards, door knobs or other people’s hands) followed by the person touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. This is why regular hand washing and use of alcohol-based hand rub is highly recommended.
• Avoid contact with ill persons.
• When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if
you do not have a tissue). Throw used tissues in a rubbish bin.
• After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based
hand gel.
• If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible.
Stay at home or in your hotel room. Seek medical care if you are severely ill (such
as having trouble breathing).

Grahamstown general medical practitioners
Drs Marx, Bennett & Partners 120 High Street: +27(46) 636-2063; Emergency no.: +27(82) 573 3678
Colcade practice, Hill Street: +27(46) 636-1732
Dr S Dwyer, Henry Street: +27(46) 622-4846
Dr F Oosthuizen, Pepper Grove Mall: +27(46) 622-6362
Dr SC Pelliser, 12 New Street: +27(46) 622-2970

This information has been primarily derived from the following sources:

Health advisory issued by the Faculty of Pharmacy at Rhodes University
Centres for Disease Control
World Health Organisation

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The 2009 Highway Africa conference and the Digital Citizen Indaba (DCI) are quickly approaching!

Highway Africa (HA) is the world’s largest gathering of African journalists, and for 13 years it has been at the centre of Africa’s debates on journalism and new media. The Digital Citizen Indaba (DCI) was established after it was recognised that – given its focus on new media and journalism, (HA) could do more to encourage new media take-up by non-journalists, thereby ensuring that citizens have a digital voice too.

The theme of this year’s HA conference will be 2010, Development & Democracy and it will offer journalists a reflection on 2010 in the new media environment. In 2010, South Africa hosts the FIFA World Football Cup. As we head for the world’s biggest spectacle, taking place in Africa for the very first time, it is imperative that African journalism and media prepare on how the 2010 Story will told. The Highway Africa Conference 2009 will be both a celebration and an interrogation of journalism and media and their role in sport, identity and the African agenda.

The working theme of the DCI will be ‘digital civil society and journalism in Africa’, focusing on the complex interaction between the mainstream media and civil society.

With only three weeks before all these exciting conversations take place in Grahamstown, we would like to encourage you to connect online with other participants and speakers via our various social media networks. You can share your ideas, expectations, projects or general feedback so that the event is even a bigger success in 2009. We would love to hear from YOU!

Looking forward to meeting you all soon!

Levi Kabwato & Elia Varela Serra

HA Social media team

[Version Française en bas/ French Version below]

Dear Colleagues,

Highway Africa is pleased to announce the call for entries for the 8th editions of the SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards in proud association with OSIWA and MTN. The Awards, which were pioneered 7 years ago to highlight the role that digital technologies play in journalism and the media, are unique and prestigious awards within the profession of journalism on the continent. The awards reward pioneering, innovative and creative use of technology in doing journalism that serves Africa and its citizens..

  • SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards
  • The Highway Africa Conference 2009 hosted at Rhodes University, Eastern Cape South Africa annually, will host the 8th edition of the SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards. The 13th edition of the Highway Africa Conference, September 6-9, Rhodes University, calls for the submission of nominations for the 8th SABC – Highway Africa in 3 categories.

  • Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) ICT Journalism Awards
  • This year an exciting new partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA – http://www.osiwa.org) will see 5 new categories added to the prestigious The SABC-Highway Africa Digital Journalism Awards. Entries in these categories are restricted to entries from West Africa (both Anglophone and Francophone).

Download the awards electronic application form here! Submissions are to be made electronically to: awards@highwayafrica.com copied to c.kabwato@ru.ac.za.

The closing date for the nominations is 21 August 2009, 16:30 Pretoria Time. Winners will be announced at the prestigious SABC – Highway Africa New Media Awards ceremony on the evening of Tuesday, 08 September 2009.

[FRANÇAIS]

Chers Collègues,

Highway Africa a le plaisir de vous annoncer l’Appel à nominations de sa 8ème édition de SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards en association avec OSIWA et MTN. Les prix ont été lancés 7 ans auparavant pour mettre en exergue que le rôle que les technologies numériques jouent dans le journalisme et dans les médias, sont uniques et prestigieux dans la profession du journalisme qui serve l’Afrique et ses citoyens.

  • SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards
  • La « Highway Conference conference » 2009 tenue à Rhodes University, Cap Est de l’Afrique du Sud abritera la 8ème édition de SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards. La 13ème édition de la « Highway Africa Conference » qui se tiendra du 6 au 9 septembre à Rhodes University lance un appel à soumissions de nominations pour la 8ème édition de SABC – Highway Africa dans trois catégories.

  • Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) ICT Journalism Awards
  • Cette année, un passionnant nouveau partenariat avec la Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA – http://www.osiwa.org) verra 5 nouvelles catégories ajoutées au prestigieux SABC-Highway Africa New Media Awards. Les nominations de cette catégorie sont ouvertes uniquement à l’Afrique de l’ouest (anglophone et francophone)

Veuillez télécharger le formulaire électronique de nomination ici. Les nominations doivent être faites par voie électronique à: awards@highwayafrica.com copié sur c.kabwato @ ru.ac.za.

La date de clôture pour les nominations est fixée au 21 août 2009 à 16h30 heure de Pretoria. La liste des lauréats sera publiée à la prestigieuse cérémonie de SABC – Highway Africa Awards, dans la nuit de mardi, 8 septembre 2009.