Tweed's Samantha-Jane Stacey has been cleared of a suspected case of swine flu.
Tweed's Samantha-Jane Stacey has been cleared of a suspected case of swine flu.

Sammy Sumo cleared of swine flu

BANORA Point sumo sensation Samantha-Jane Stacey has been cleared of swine influenza.

'Sammy Sumo' got the good news from the family doctor last night after an anxious wait this week, holed up at home.

The 15-year-old said it was good to avoid becoming the latest confirmed case of the virus for the New South Wales north coast.

“I'm so relieved. It was just the normal flu,” she told the Tweed Daily News after learning of her results yesterday.

“I just felt like I had the flu and thought I was going to be sweet but there was a lot of talk in the Australian media about swine flu, so that got me a bit worried.

“I was shaking while waiting at the doctor's surgery for the results. I just wanted them to hurry up and tell me.”

Samantha said her initial symptoms included vomiting, a sore throat, a runny nose, watery eyes and coughing.

It is believed she contracted an illness during the recent Oceania Sumo Championships in Tallebudgera.

“It's hard to remember exactly when but I started feeling a bit sick during my last competition. I thought it was just nerves,” she said.

“Once they didn't go away we went to the doctors. They said to be sure they would have to check me for everything.”

Samantha said now she had been given the all clear she would be on the next plane to Japan to continue her studies.

Her next competition will be the All-Western Japan Sumo Championships in July.

Her illness initially prevented her from flying back to Japan last Friday.

“We will be looking up the flight times straight away. Hopefully I can get on the plane by the end of this week.”

New South Wales Health yesterday said there were eight confirmed cases of swine influenza on the north coast as of last night.

The Australian total for the virus has hit 1221.

Commonwealth chief medical officer Jim Bishop met with his state and territory counterparts yesterday to consider moving the pandemic alert level in line with Victoria's, from 'contain' to 'sustain', focusing on more vulnerable people.

The 'sustain' phase lasts until a vaccine is available.

But that could be another three months away, according to the group who are developing a vaccine in Australia.

Federal Health minister Nicola Roxon said most Australians with the illness have only experienced mild flu-like symptoms.

“I need to emphasise that the public health advice is that there is clearly no need to restrict domestic travel.”



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