How countries are defending against swine flu

Governments around the world acted to stem a possible flu pandemic today as a virus that has killed at least 103 people in Mexico and spread to North America and Europe.

Here is a guide to some of the precautionary steps being taken around the world:

MIDDLE EAST:

Middle East countries should monitor travellers arriving from the United States and Mexico for signs of the virus but it was not necessary to impose quarantine on them all, the World Health Organization said.

WHO said it has 3 million capsules of tamiflu stock in Dubai which will be distributed in the Middle East if there is an outbreak.

EUROPE:

AUSTRIA

Under a 2005 contingency plan Austria has stocks of antiviral drugs sufficient to treat 4 million people (half the population), and has secured production capacity for prophylactic vaccines for the entire population. It has also stockpiled 8 million protective masks.

BRITAIN

Has antiviral stockpiles to provide treatment for 50 percent of the population should they become ill.

BULGARIA

Plans to post a note about swine flu and advice to passengers from and to affected countries on its website. Two thermal scanners have been installed at Sofia airport.

CZECH REPUBLIC

The country has stocks of 2 million doses of Tamiflu, enough to treat a fifth of the population.

DENMARK

A general pandemic plan was in place since bird flu scare. Denmark has stockpiled Tamiflu.

FRANCE

Reinforced checks at airports, especially for people returning from Mexico. France has a stock of more than 30 million antiviral treatments, composed of 24 million doses of Tamilflu and 9 million doses of Relenza.

GERMANY

A note about swine flu danger in Mexico has been posted on Health Ministry's website.

GREECE

Has "strategic stocks" of Tamiflu and other antivirus medicine.

ITALY

Pamphlets are being handed out to passengers at Rome's international airport but there are no restrictions on travel. Italy has 10 million doses of Zanamivir (Relenza) and 60,000 doses of Tamiflu as well as enough powder of Tamiflu to make 30 million doses.

RUSSIA

Aircraft stewards arriving from the Americas have been instructed to warn about passengers with flu-like symptoms. Planes, on which cases are suspected, should be taxied to special zones and passengers and crews examined by medics.

Imposed curbs on meat imports from Mexico, a number of U.S. states and the Caribbean.

SPAIN

Distributing leaflets to passengers arriving from Mexico, advising them to report to a health centre if they suffer symptoms. Spain has a stock of 10 million doses of Tamiflu. Flights to Mexico were being equipped with face masks and gloves.

UKRAINE

Ban on imports of live pigs from all countries where instances of swine flu have been detected.

AMERICAS:

Countries have ramped up border and airport checks.

In Panama, airport officials are screening the around 40 flights a day from Mexico. Health officials in El Salvador at the borders with Guatemala and Honduras are watching for flu cases. Nicaragua's health ministry declared a health alert.

ARGENTINA

Urged crew members and passengers on flights from Mexico to advise immediately if they have any flu-like symptoms. It is also asking people who have travelled to Mexico recently and feel sick, to inform a doctor.

Argentine health system has been ordered to watch for an increase in respiratory illnesses and promote vaccinations and preventive hygiene habits among health workers and the public.

BRAZIL

Plans to monitor passengers arriving from Mexico and the United States. Crew members were asked to discuss flu-like symptoms with passengers during flights.

CHILE

To scan all passengers arriving by plane from Mexico and the United States. It has also warned against travel to Mexico and the U.S., and border officials are on alert to monitor passengers arriving by land with flu-like symptoms.

COLOMBIA

Increased monitoring and preventative controls at hospitals, ports and Bogota's main airport, especially for people arriving from Mexico City, Texas and California.

ECUADOR

To carry out medical checks on people with flu symptoms arriving via air and sea from countries hit.

PERU

Reinforced airport controls to detect if someone with flu symptoms was entering the country.

VENEZUELA

Will boost health controls at airports to prevent the contagion from spreading and recommended that Venezuelans avoid travel to the U.S. and Mexico.

ASIA:

CHINA

The quarantine authority issued an emergency notice on Saturday requiring people to report flu-like symptoms at ports of entry when coming from swine flu-affected places.

HONG KONG

Stepped up surveillance at border control points and travellers found with swine flu symptoms will be taken to hospitals for further checks.

JAPAN

Narita airport ramped up temperature checks for travellers from Mexico using thermographic imaging equipment. Japan has issued an advisory asking those who were going to Mexico to consider if such trips were necessary.

MALAYSIA

Began screening passengers travelling to and from Mexico at all border points.

PHILIPPINES

Ordered more monitoring of ports of entry to stop the entry of pigs or pork from Mexico and the United States.

SINGAPORE

Urged citizens to limit their travel to affected areas such as Mexico and the United States,

SOUTH KOREA

Stepped up quarantine and safety checks on travellers arriving from the U.S. and Mexico, as well as pork imports from those countries. An emergency quarantine system is in place, with simple tests conducted on people arriving with flu symptoms at airports.

VIETNAM

Launched its disease surveillance system to detect suspected cases and was seeking more information from the WHO on the disease and ways of prevention.

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