11 June 2009

H1N1 Flu Precautions for Health Volunteers

Volunteers Traveling to Mexico
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warning against non-essential travel to Mexico has now been downgraded to a 'Travel Health Precaution'. This means that persons at high risk for flu complications should not go at this time. These groups include:
  • Persons under 5 or over 65 years of age
  • Persons under age 18 who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with chronic pulmonary, cardiovascular, liver, blood, neurologic, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders or immunosuppression either from illness such as HIV, or medications.
    Individual Volunteers and teams are reminded to engage in preventative practices such as frequent hand washing and/ or use of hand sanitizers; use of tissues when coughing or sneezing and limiting touching the mouth, eyes, nose and mouth, as germs spread that way.

Global Travel Teams and Individual Volunteers from the U.S. may be asked to do the following in the receiving country:

  • Pass through a scanning device that checks body temperature
  • Have your temperature taken with an oral or ear thermometer
  • Complete a sheet of questions about your health
  • Be quarantined for a period of time if a passenger on your flight is found to have H1N1 symptoms
  • If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms, you may be asked to have a medical exam, take a rapid flu test which consists of a nasal swab or be isolated if you appear ill
The CDC stongly encourages all passengers to cooperate with these procedures. Please note that the U.S. Department of State usually cannot interfere with the right of other countries to screen airline passengers entering or exiting their countries. Please consult the embassy of the country you will be traveling to for more information on their entry screening procedures.

Excerpted from information found on CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/ .

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