Cuba Beefs Up Swine Flu Controls

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, May 25 — Cuba has decided to step up controls and prevention against the A H1N1 virus as the illness continues to spread around the world. On the island, the visiting 14-month old Canadian boy who became Cuba’s fourth case was released from the hospital after reacting “very favorably” to treatment.

Likewise, the three Mexican medical students who brought the Swine Flu with them upon their return from vacation in their country are back studying, stated Ministry of Public Health authorities.

With air and sea ports considered the key to vigilance and sanitary controls, a combined effort of the Health, Tourism and Transportation authorities is taking place to verify the health of passengers.

Granma daily reported on Monday that advanced medical equipment installed at the main entry points can determine the body temperature of the arriving passengers. Medical personnel are also on hand to determine if the person has symptoms of the swine flu. Follow up monitoring of both Cuban and foreign travelers is taking place in coordination with the primary health care system.

“All of our actions are geared to keep the new virus from affecting a large number of persons in our country,” said Dr. Alvarez Valdes, an epidemiology specialist who spoke with the newspaper.

The World Health Organization reports over 12,000 cases of Swine Flu virus in 43 countries with close to a hundred deaths. Over half of the total cases were recorded in the United States, with 90 percent being in the US, Mexico and Canada.