- Title: ALGERIA: Airports increase flu measures to help identify cases
- Date: 30th June 2009
- Summary: WIDE OF HALL
- Embargoed: 15th July 2009 13:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Health
- Reuters ID: LVAC35GHXR7CXJETMCQZKBLRKJ9M
- Story Text: Algeria's authorities are manning the country's airports and frontiers with medical teams in a bid to prevent the propagation of the H1N1 virus after the North African country confirmed its first two cases of the virus.
Masked medical staff, comprised of doctors and nurses, roamed through the terminal of Algeria's Houari Boumediene International Airport, in search of passengers who suffer from flu symptoms. They handed out health ministry pamphlets and provided information and consultation to residents and tourists.
"My job is to identify, as quickly as possible, people who suffer from (flu) symptoms (such as) runny nose, or coughing, or a red (skin) which is a sign of fever. This is what I need to detect, then I give them the pamphlet to provide then with information," said Doctor Benmustap who advised passengers awaiting their luggage.
"The measures that have been taken in Algeria are based on preventive measures. Our doctors are here to meet the passengers at the airport, to increase their awareness with regards to the seriousness of the disease, of course. We give them small pamphlets to notify them that in case they develop fever or cough during the first eight days of their stay, which is the incubation period, they should call the 3030 number in order for them to be taken care of quickly before they contaminate other citizens," explained Director of Public Sanitary Establishment of Algeria Doctor Abdel Kader Benchihab.
Many of the passengers voiced satisfaction over the country's measures.
"If we receive advice, we are more reassured," a passenger named Ghania said.
"People enjoy receiving information about the disease, so they can become aware and conscious, and not thinking that every time someone sneezes it is necessarily a case of swine flu," added an unidentified woman.
The country's first H1N1 flu virus was detected in a woman and one of her children who arrived to Algeria from the United Staes via Germany, the official APS news agency reported.
It quoted the Health Ministry as saying the woman, an Algerian national, flew into Algiers on a Lufthansa flight from Miami via Frankfurt, accompanied by her two children last week.
All three have received appropriate care in hospital, APS said.
The World Health Organisation declared a pandemic of H1N1 swine flu earlier this month and said the virus causes a moderately severe flu, spreading very easily from person to person. It said the number of worldwide cases had risen to 44,287, with 180 deaths.
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