The World Health Organisation has confirmed the H1N1 outbreak is now in the post-pandemic period, effectively declaring the alert over. However, with cases reported in New Zealand and India, the impact of the virus is still being felt around the world.
As of 13 June, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18172 deaths. WHO is actively monitoring the progress of the pandemic through frequent consultations with the WHO Regional Offices and Member States and through monitoring of multiple sources of information.
Experts from around the globe are to investigate whether the World Health Organisation caused undue panic when responding to the 2009 swine flu outbreak. The UN body declared the spread of the A (H1N1) virus a “pandemic” in June 2009, despite advice from numerous governments not to do so.
The UNWTO has called upon the travel and tourism industry to be extra vigilant against swine flu over the next few months with the arrival of the flu season in the northern hemisphere. But the tourism body underscored that travel limitations would not limit the spread of the virus because it is already “the dominant influenza strain in most parts of the world”.
As the first country in the world to experience an outbreak of the now widespread A(H1N1) influenza virus, Mexico has been really hard hit in terms of tourism demand over the past three months.
Mexico City has begun offering tourists free insurance for tourists in a bid to lure back visitors scared by swine flu, which broke out in Mexico in April.
The prospect of a summer of travel chaos has been raised a notch after several airlines, led by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have started refusing to check-in holidaymakers suspected of suffering from swine-flu like symptoms, unless they can provide a “fit to fly” note from their doctor.
A woman has died in a Scottish hospital becoming the first person outside the Americas to have been killed by the Swine flu virus.The patient was last night identified as a 38-year-old woman from Glasgow, who had prematurely given birth in recent days. She had been in intensive care at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley, where a large number of those infected with the H1N1 virus have been treated. Health officials said earlier today that nearly 500 people in Scotland had been diagnosed with the virus, with a majority in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
The number of swine flu cases in the Caribbean continues to grow with latest World Health Organization figures putting the total close to 20.
The number of swine flu cases in the Caribbean grew over the weekend, with Jamaica adding to the list.
David Tarsh reports on the costs of swine flu to travel and tourism at the The Global World Travel and Tourism Summit in Florianoplois, Brazil.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) emphasised that airlines are prepared for the heightened level of alert following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to move to Phase 5 of its pandemic preparedness plan.