World Immigration Alerts Against Mexico’s Swine Flu

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On Sunday, Taiwan ordered all of its airports to secure immigration checks from those who entered from North America. This is due to the possible influx of the swine flu, a new flu that has killed 80 people and affected various more thus far.

“Visitors from Mexico and the United States including homecoming Taiwanese nationals found to have fever and flu symptoms will be sent to special hospitals for isolation, pending virus inspections,” said the spokesman of the Department of Health, Shih Wen-yi.

The tightening on immigration checks was a response to the World Health Organization’s announcement that the flu is capable of becoming a pandemic.

Shih said that the precautions include thermal testing for all those who enter in order to determine if they have a fever or not, in addition to an oral testimony as to whether they have any flu-like symptoms.

The United States has declared a public health emergency. China and Thailand joined Russia in banning meat imports from Mexico and the five U.S. states where 20 swine flu cases have been confirmed.

Jose Angel Cordova, Mexican Health Minister, confirmed the number of suspected swine flu deaths at 103. In Mexico City, Mexico’s capital, residents wore blue face masks and collected food and water, anticipating a long lock-down. Mexico City has closed schools and museums, and President Felipe Calderon has given authorization to secretary of health to isolate patients and inspect travelers in its quest to stem the epidemic.

The World Health Organization says that the swine flu is normally transmitted from animals to humans, but warned that the human-to-human transmission means the strain could be virulent very quickly. The WHO called for all nations to “intensify surveillance.”

The number of suspected cases has been at 1,324, but is now up to 1,614, declared Mexico’s health minister on national television.

The only confirmed cases outside of Mexico are six in Canada and 20 in the United States.

Spain screened all passengers arriving off flights from Mexico and tested eight as possible swine flu cases. Two patients in Scotland are also under observation after returning from Mexico.

The swine flu is less deadly than the avian flu, because it only affects the respiratory system. The symptoms include fever, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. Cooked pork will not transmit the virus to the consumer.

 

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