WHO: Swine flu pandemic ‘not inevitable’
Swine flu has crossed the Atlantic with cases now confirmed in the UK and Spain. The World Health Organization has raised the flu alert, but says the pandemic was not inevitable.
Almost 150 people are thought to have died of swine flu in Mexico. The country's health secretary fears over a thousand Mexicans could now have the illness.
The U.S., where 45 people were confirmed to be infected, has declared a public health emergency.
So far there have been no suspected cases of swine flu coming into Russia and the government is very keen to ensure that this remains the same.
Several measures have been put into place to prevent the spread of the disease into the country. The first is putting into quarantine anybody who returns from the U.S. or Mexico with flu-like symptoms.
A new thermo-scanner is being installed in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. This is not a new measure as the same technology was already used during the bird flu outbreak. It proved to be very effective in monitoring passengers’ health and the government decided to re-introduce it.
Further, a limit on the imports of raw meat from Mexico, the U.S. and the Caribbean has been introduced. A complete ban on raw meats brought by travelers into Russia has also been put into place.
Additionally, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has set up a special government commission to prevent the spread of the virus in Russia and he has said that he will do more if necessary.
“The airports have been put into a quarantine regime and we have also taken other immediate measures,” Putin said during a government meeting.
Russian health officials have warned citizens against traveling to Mexico. The health service said that although the disease is not fatal when diagnosed and treated quickly, they would not recommend traveling to affected areas.
The WHO has characterized swine flu as a highly contagious respiratory disease coming from pigs. The main symptoms are mostly like those of any other flu, such as fatigue, aches and pains, coughing, sneezing and nausea.