9 Jun 2009

Alarm at swine flu situation in Australia

3:32 pm on 9 June 2009

The swine flu situation in Australia is becoming increasingly alarming, says the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association.

Queensland's chief health officer says Australia now has more than 1,200 confirmed cases of swine flu - at least 1,000 of them in the state of Victoria.

In New Zealand, 19 cases have been confirmed, and the Government on Monday gave health officials powers to keep people away from work or school.

The association says it is monitoring the Australian situation very closely. If widespread quarantine measures need to be implemented, such steps would hurt employers and compound the recession, it says.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not say whether its travel advisory to Australia will change as a result of swine flu developments there.

The advisory says there is some risk to health in Australia due to a significant number of Influenza A cases and advises caution.