Media Release - 30/04/09
Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health division is continuing to identify and screen people who are unwell and have returned from Mexico or North America in the past seven days.
CDHB staff are working at Christchurch International Airport to assist passengers arriving from overseas who identify themselves as being unwell. They are also providing information to incoming passengers about Swine Flu precautions in New Zealand.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Ramon Pink said, “We are working closely with the Ministry of Health, primary care, laboratories and partner agencies such as Christchurch International Airport to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.”
All people in Canterbury who travelled on Flight NZ1 last Saturday and have been unwell have returned negative results for Influenza A. (ie they do not have swine flu).
Chief Medical Officer Nigel Millar said a lot of work was being done in Canterbury to ensure that the response to a possible pandemic was sustainable. “We are developing rosters and systems, so that we can maintain a healthy well rested workforce to manage this issue through coming weeks.”
People who are sick and have been in Mexico or North American within the last seven days should phone their GP. Anyone requiring further information or with other concerns should phone Healthline on 0800 611 116.
People who have not been in the US or Mexico but have influenza-like symptoms probably have seasonal influenza that should be treated in the normal manner with bed rest, fluids, paracetamol and self management unless symptoms are severe or prolonged. If people are concerned they should phone their GP or Healthline.
People who have stocks of Tamiflu at home should not take it unless a doctor tells them to. Swine Flu is not at this time circulating in our community and taking Tamiflu now will make no difference to people’s chances of getting it. It may also encourage resistance in the future.
Getting your usual flu vaccination will protect you against seasonal influenza, but not swine flu. It’s still however important to have an influenza vaccination to stay as well as possible in the next few months, particularly if you are over 65 or have a chronic (long term) health condition.
Routine infection control advice for seasonal influenza is
For further information about protecting yourself and others from influenza see Canterbury District Health Board’s influenza website www.fluinfo.org.nz.