Japan tightens measures against swine flu threat after outbreak in Mexico
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-26 10:20:44   Print

Backgrounder: Key facts about swine flu

    by Qi Wei

    TOKYO, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Japan has tightened preventive measures against the threat of swine flu as the deadly outbreaks in Mexico claimed more than 60 human lives.

    At a meeting of ministry and agency section chiefs Saturday, the government decided to strengthen measures to prevent the virulent strain of swine flu from spreading to Japan and issued an advisory for travelers to Mexico and the United States, where eight people were infected with the disease, that urges precautions such as wearing masks and washing hands, and called on all people returning from either country to report unusual symptoms.

    The health, labor and welfare ministry held an emergency press conference Saturday to warn the public of the flu threat and announced preparations to tackle the potential influenza pandemic.

    It is not yet clear whether the World Health Organization (WHO) will certify the swine flu as a new strain of influenza, said Yoshio Nanba, chief of the ministry's office for pandemic influenza. But the ministry has begun preparations together with ministries and agencies concerned to take joint actions if the WHO's confirmation comes.

    Nanba called on the public to respond calmly and act on correct information.

    Meanwhile, the foreign ministry established a liaison office and begun around-the-clock gathering of information on the outbreak and urged those who are bound for the swine flu-stricken country to abort their trips.

    At Kansai and Narita international airports, the quarantine station used thermographic imaging to check the temperatures of passengers coming from Mexico to detect fevers that could be caused by swine flue infections.

    The Agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry also instructed animal quarantine offices across Japan to check live pigs brought into Japan for possible infection.

    In Mexico City, where a total of 24 new suspected cases were reported on Saturday, the Japanese Embassy said there were no reports of deaths from the flu or infections among the more than 5,000 Japanese living in Mexico. The embassy said it is too early to recommend evacuation from the country.

    The swine flu is believed to have killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico.

2 swine flu cases confirmed in U.S. state of Kansas 

    WASHINGTON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Saturday confirmed two cases of swine flu in the state.

    A spokeswoman said the department is planning to release details on the two cases at a news conference later Saturday.  Full story

U.S. expects more swine flue cases: CDC

    WASHINGTON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States is expected to embrace more cases of swine flu because the virus can not be contained, an official from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday.

    "With infections in many different communities as we're seeing, we don't think that containment is feasible," said Anne Schucha, interim deputy director for the CDC's science and public health program.  Full story

Probable swine flu cases found in New York school

    NEW YORK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- At least eight students of a non-public school in New York City were found to have probable human swine influenza, New York health officials said on Saturday.

    More than 100 students at the school in the New York City borough of Queens were sick this week with fever and other flu-like symptoms, the New York City Health Department said in a press release.  Full story

Texas high school closing after possible new case of swine flu found

    HOUSTON, April 25 (Xinhua) -- A high school in the U.S. state of Texas is temporarily closing after a new possible case of the deadly swine flu was identified there, health officials said Saturday.

    Byron Steele High School in Guadalupe County near San Antonio, Texas, will "temporarily close effective immediately as public health and school officials work to keep swine influenza from spreading", the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said in a press release.  Full story

Mexican president holds emergency meeting on flu outbreak

A man wearing a mask walks past a Mexican flag in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, April 24, 2009. The government of Mexico City is launching a massive vaccination campaign throughout the city against swine flu, which has possibly killed dozens nationwide. (Xinhua Photo)

A man wearing a mask walks past a Mexican flag in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, April 24, 2009. The government of Mexico City is launching a massive vaccination campaign throughout the city against swine flu, which has possibly killed dozens nationwide. (Xinhua Photo)
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    MEXICO CITY, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Friday held an emergency meeting at the Presidential Office with ministers, health authorities and experts to discuss measures to deal with the deadly flu outbreak.

    Calderon also decided to inform Mexicans about the nationwide flu outbreak.  Full story

China on alert to prevent swine flu infection

    BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued an emergency notice Saturday night requiring people to report flu-like symptoms at the point of entry when coming from the deadly swine flu affected places.

    This is China's latest move in response to the outbreaks of human infection of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 in Mexico and the United States.  Full story

Hong Kong to enhance surveillance at boundary control points for Swine Flu

    HONG KONG, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong will step up local surveillance systems at boundary control points and the public health laboratory in light of outbreaks of human infection of Swine Influenza A/H1N1 in Mexico and the United States, the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health of Hong Kong announced on Saturday.

    Travelers from the affected places who are found to have Swine Influenza symptoms at Hong Kong's boundary control points will be taken to hospitals for further investigation. Laboratory testing for Swine Influenza will be conducted for patients with influenza-like-illness who had traveled to the affected places within 7 days before onset of symptoms. Full story

S Korea to tighten quarantine measures for U.S., Mexican pork

    SEOUL, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The South Korean government announced to tighten quarantine measures for pork from the United States and Mexico after outbreaks of swine influenza in these countries, local media reported on Sunday.

    South Korea's National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service announced Saturday that U.S. and Mexican pork to be imported from Monday will be put in quarantine to check if it was infected with the disease.  Full story

WHO declares swine flu outbreak "public health emergency"

    GENEVA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO)on Saturday declared the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the United States a "public health emergency of international concern" and urged countries to be alert. 

    Based on the advice of a WHO emergency committee, Director-general Margaret Chan "has determined that the current events constitute a public health emergency of international concern," the UN agency said in a statement.  Full story

Editor: Xiong Tong
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