Screening intensified at TIA to ward off swine flu

KATHMANDU: Ministry of Health and Population has intensified the preventive measures to thwart the possible spread of swine ful virus A (H1N1) in the country after an Italian woman, who entered Tibet via Nepal, was reportedly confirmed as the fifth case of swine flu in mainland China.

Issuing a press statement today, the Chinese health ministry said the 42-year-old Italian woman had arrived in Nepal on May 12 and then entered Tibet via land on May 16, a day after developing symptoms of cold. The woman, who was stopped at the Zhangmu border with fever, running nose and sore throat, was not immediately identified by name. She was rushed to a local hospital where she tested positive for the H1N1 virus on Monday.

"The woman is out of danger. Twenty-three of her travelling companions have been put in quarantine," the statement added.

According to the special health desk at the Tribhuvan International Airport, screening of the international travellers for suspected cases of flu is underway. The desk is yet to detect any cases since the outbreak was first reported in Mexico.

"It will be too early to say whether or not the Italian lady developed flu symptoms here," Dr Dr Gajananda P Bhandari, epidemiologist and coordinator of the desk, said it was to early to say whether or not the Italian lady developed flu symptoms here. "Flu symptoms cannot be diagnosed during the incubation period. Maybe she travelled Tibet within that period and Nepali health officials could not trace any symptoms", Dr Bhandari said. He also said the desk would further intensify vigil in coordination with health facilities.