Monday, August 12, 2013

Indonesia govt to screen passengers from China for #H7N9

August 12, 2013

Indonesia's Health Ministry will step up precautionary measures in response to the recent discovery that H7N9, the deadly bird flu strain that has caused deaths in China and Taiwan, is transmittable among humans, heightening concern that it could lead to a pandemic.

“We will begin to use the thermal scanners after the Idul Fitri holiday is over, particularly in major airports including Soekarno-Hatta International Airport [Jakarta] and Ngurah Rai International Airport [Denpasar], which serve direct flights from China and Taiwan,” the ministry’s director general for disease control and environmental health Tjandra Yoga Aditama told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

According to Tjandra, the ministry would also distribute health information cards to passengers arriving from China and Taiwan.

Tjandra said that the ministry had been aware of the possibility that the virus could spread by human-to-human transmission and had taken precautionary measures.

“We were aware that there are four cases where people who lived in the same neighbourhood were infected with the H7N9 virus strain in China,” Tjandra said. “Human-to-human infection is indeed possible and we have prepared for that,” he went on.

As reported by the Associated Press, a new study published in the British Medical Journal on August 6 found evidence that H7N9 had spread among humans.


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