Date Published: 30 April 2009

WA Health steps up State influenza plans

Health News from Australia.

WA Health has today activated its State Human Epidemic plan in response to the World Health Organization raising its pandemic influenza alert to phase 5.

WA Chief Health Officer Dr Tarun Weeramanthri said the State Emergency Coordination Group met this morning and decided to activate the plan, which is now at the level of standby.

This formal activation signals that we are concerned, but people should be reassured that we have good plans that we are putting into action,” he said.

It should be remembered that we have no confirmed cases of swine flu in Australia.”

So far 16 people in WA have been tested for swine flu, 8 have been cleared, 2 people are likely to have human influenza, and 6 are waiting for results. One of these 6 is a contact of a confirmed case from New Zealand.

This person is being treated with Tamiflu and is being followed up by public health staff," Dr Weeramanthri said.

The Australian Government today implemented full border protection measures including the use of thermal scanners and a mandatory requirement for all incoming passengers to fill out detailed health declaration cards.

Nurses will be stationed at Perth International Airport from this evening.

Anyone who has returned from Mexico or North America since March this year with influenza like symptoms should seek advice from their GP.

People should continue to get their normal influenza vaccine, particularly people over 65 and under 5 and other vulnerable groups, however, it will not protect against this new strain of influenza virus.



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