As concerns that swine flu is spreading through the Asia-Pacific region, New
Zealand has confirmed new infections and several countries are stepping border
protection measures. In Germany, authorities have confirmed the country's first
case of the virus.
New Zealand says it has three more swine flu cases, in
addition to the 11 identified earlier.
Also on Wednesday, Germany
confirmed a case of swine flu, which has been found in Mexico, Spain, Israel,
Canada, Costa Rica and the United States. The virus was first identified in
Mexico, where it is suspected of causing more than 150 deaths.
No cases of the disease have
yet been confirmed elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region. In South Korea, several
people with flu symptoms are undergoing tests and Chinese authorities are on
full alert after several children became ill with symptoms resembling those of
In Australia, about 100 people are being tested for the
disease and the government is boosting surveillance measures that require planes
to report any sick passengers before they land.
At least six people with
flu-like symptoms were escorted off a plane in Brisbane airport, with one person
detained and tested for swine flu.
Travelers arriving in Sydney from Hong
Kong say they had to pass through thermal imaging scanners before getting on
"You walk past - they've obviously got a monitor pointing
at you - you walk past and it reads your body temperature on a screen," said one
traveler. "They also did random checks of people, taking individual temperature
checks and they did ask us if we had been into some of the affected areas if we
could go and notify a doctor or ground staff in Hong Kong airport but Sydney and
London seem to be pretty relaxed about it."
Other passengers arriving
from South America spoke of being quarantined at Santiago airport in Chile
before being allowed to board their flight to Australia.
"In Chile, when
we came off the plane, there is a camera at the end, catches everybody coming
in," said another traveler. "You have to stand on a cross on the floor and then
we got put into quarantine for half an hour, just while they went through the
Japan and Taiwan are preparing to send doctors aboard
incoming flights to perform health checks.
Australia New Zealand, Hong
Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have all advised against
non-essential travel to Mexico.
Officials at the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations say it is ready to quickly tap its emergency stockpile of one
million courses of Tamiflu, an anti-flu treatment.