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Guest Column: Swine Flu Worries Spread to Bangladesh April 30, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, HEALTH.
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Authorities announced this week that all international airports in Bangladesh will begin screening travelers for swine flu, with the nation’s seaports not far behind.
With reports of deaths from the newly noted swine flu increasing to nearly a hundred in the US and Mexico, officials in Bangladesh say they are adding the disease to their list of security-related screenings at all three international airports. H1N1, the official designation by the World Health Organization for swine flu, has been an action item for many world nations over the last week and the new measures were put in place amidst growing concerns of spread of the disease.
“We held the [emergency] meeting following an alert message from World Health Organization about the swine flu that rapidly spreads into [the] human body,” said Professor Mahmudur Rahman, in an interview with the press. Director of Bangladesh’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Rahman also noted that no confirmed cases had been seen within the country’s borders.
Swine flu is a type-A influenza that can be carried and spread by pigs. Human infection classically has been low, except in those who work closely with the animals. This current epidemic has already stricken hundreds.
Worldwide response to the disease has been fast, with some countries acting along with Bangladesh to control any passage of the disease and act quickly to prevent its spread.
Current numbers place the dead at 81, mostly in Mexico, where the most aggressive strain seems to have panicked the government there, which has ordered people in many areas to take serious precautions. Government officials there have recommended that people not shake hands and stand at least six feet away from each other at large gatherings and public events.
The United States did take measures up a notch as well, declaring a state of federal emergency to ensure prompt control and releasing federal stockpiles of vaccinations should state governments wish to up their supply.
Officials in Bangladesh plan to implement the actions in the International Airports on Tuesday and say they will continue screening passengers until the outbreak is controlled.

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