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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2710

Nepal on high alerts over swine flu; decides to screen visitors from US, Mexico at Int’l airport

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Kathmandu, 28 April, (Asiantribune.com): As a precautionary measure to check possible outbreak of deadly swine flu, Nepal has decided to deploy health officials at the country’s only international airport to screen passengers coming from Mexico and the US.

An emergency meeting of the Technical Sub-Committee on Avian Influenza at Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives held on Monday made a decision to deploy a team of health professional at Tribhuvan International Airport. The doctors’ team will give a health related questionnaire to each passenger returning from Mexico and the US and take necessary measures if anyone is suspected to have contracted with the deadly flu.

Officials at Ministry of Health said they have decided to issue a statement for public awareness on swine flu. The meeting had discussed in detail about possible measures to be taken in case of an outbreak of the deadly flu in Nepal.

Nepal has kept herself on high alert as the swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico appeared to have spread to New Zealand and even Israel, raising fears about a potential pandemic.

Swine flu, which claimed its first victim in Mexico City on April 13, has spread to other parts of the world through people visiting Mexico.

New Zealand said that 10 students who took a school trip to Mexico "likely" had swine flu. Likewise, Israel said a man who had recently visited Mexico had been hospitalized, and authorities are trying to determine whether he had the swine flu. Among others, two French who had returned from Mexico with fevers are being monitored in regions near the port cities of Bordeaux and Marseilles.

Some of those who died in Mexico are confirmed to have a unique version of the A/H1N1 flu virus, which is a combination of bird, pig and human viruses, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), body aches, coughing, sore throat, and respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. The WHO has urged governments across the world to step up their surveillance of suspicious outbreaks to check the spread of flu.

- Asian Tribune -

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