Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Travel warning issued

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DEVELOPMENTS Tuesday in the ongoing H1N1 pandemic in Canada and around the world:

 

OTTAWA -- Canadians were told Wednesday by public-health officials to avoid travel, including public transit, if they show any signs of H1N1.

The federal government released the new set of guidelines as part of a nationwide effort to curtail the spread of the novel influenza strain during its current second wave.

The document urges passengers and crew who appear ill with H1N1 flu to separate themselves from others as much as possible, and crew to minimize their contact with any sick passengers.

Those sick should wear a surgical face mask to help protect others.

People who are sick and cannot avoid travel are being asked to go by car, if possible, and travel operators are being asked to make it easy for Canadians to re-book their plans.

Meanwhile, a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Wednesday singled out Toronto's Pearson International Airport as the "most vulnerable point of entry in Canada," followed by the Vancouver and Montreal airports.

The report called for thermal sensors, increased passenger screening and other testing methods to be employed by airports to reduce the spread of infection. It warned that limiting travel was the central focus of efforts to prevent the spread of SARS, when that disease first surfaced in 2002.

 

Canada's top health official says a surge in H1N1 activity across Canada over the last two weeks suggests the so-called "second wave" of H1N1 flu has arrived in earnest.

Dr. David Butler-Jones said the H1N1 virus is on the rise in Ontario and Quebec, while most tests in western provinces are coming back positive for H1N1 flu.

 

To learn more about the immunization program in Winnipeg, go to www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/a-z/influenza/clinics.php or call call Health Links at 788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2009 A4

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