9 Jun 2009

Swine flu: schools evaluating overseas trips

6:06 pm on 9 June 2009

Schools are evaluating overseas trips as swine flu continues to spread.

Nineteen cases of swine flu have been confirmed to date in New Zealand. Australia has more than 1,200. Many of the Australian cases have been spread in schools through close contact.

Christchurch Boys High School principal Trevor McIntyre says schools are monitoring the situation closely.

Insurance policies for forthcoming overseas trips are also being read with a keen eye.

New powers

In an effort to slow the spread of the virus in New Zealand, the Government has given medical officers of health powers to keep people away from work or school.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says these powers will slow the spread of swine flu.

The regulations took effect on Monday.

Mr Ryall says district health boards have plans in place to set up assessment centres if the virus spreads to a level similar to that seen in northern Melbourne.

Swine flu was recently added to the list of infectious and notifiable diseases in New Zealand.