Russia ready to combat swine flu, no cases reported 2009-04-26 20:48:25   Print

    MOSCOW, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Russia has registered no swine flu cases so far, but has taken precautionary measures against the outbreak of the deadly disease, news agencies reported on Sunday.

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered on Sunday to set up a special commission, headed by first vice-premier Viktor Zubkov, to prevent a possible spread of the swine flu, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted prime minister's press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.

    Special groups, similar to those that operated on the bird flu in 2005-2006, are resumed.

    Russian airports imposed special control on Sunday afternoon over passengers, especially those flying from North America and Mexico, said Russian chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko.

    "We have not registered any cases so far. If it is brought from abroad, above all by air transport, our services are ready to stave off the spread of the disease," said Onishchenko.

    He further urged Russians to avoid trips to Mexico unless with "a dire need."

    Meanwhile Russia has banned meat imports from Mexico and three U.S. states, as effective of Sunday, said Russia's chief veterinary inspector Nikolai Vlasov.

    The ban covers all kinds of meat and meat products that have not been thermally treated, the Interfax news agency reported.

    A similar ban on pork and pork products from eight Latin American countries and nine U.S. states was also introduced.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday urged countries to be alert for unusual flu outbreaks after a deadly swine flu virus has claimed dozens of lives in Mexico and infected at least 11 people in the United States.

    Swine flu is a respiratory disease that infects pigs and does not normally infect humans. But sporadic cases had happened, usually among people who had close contact with pigs.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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