Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine flu 'coming to Australia'

Updated at: 1416 PST, Monday, April 27, 2009

SYDNEY: Five people in NSW are being tested for swine flu, as the death toll in Mexico rises to 103 and Australia's chief medical officer said people should not panic amid fears of a global pandemic.NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said 17 people with influenza-like illnesses had been followed up by NSW public health units today. Of the 17, five will be tested for swine flu.The country's Chief Medical Officer warns Australia is unlikely to escape the swine flu untouched.Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said airlines will be required to report passengers or crew with flu-like symptoms for all flights coming in from the Americas before landing from midnight tonight."We have now made the decision on the advice of the chief medical officer that we should introduce the next phase of protections, that is introducing at our borders arrangements for all flights that are coming in from the Americas and landing here in Australia,'' she said. Anyone reporting flu-like symptoms will be assessed by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and referred for medical treatment. Ms Roxon said the Government's crisis committee was meeting today to decide what steps might be taken.

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