1 May 2009

Pacific border closure possible says SPC

1:31 pm on 1 May 2009

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says border closure may be the best way of dealing with the global outbreak of swine flu.

The World Health Organisation says more than 250 cases worldwide of H1N1 have now been confirmed, most in Mexico where the outbreak originated.

Health authorities in Samoa are monitoring the condition of three people with flu symptoms who arrived in the country from the United States yesterday but no case has been confirmed in any Pacific Island country.

An epidemiologist at the SPC, Dr Tom Kiedrzynski, says closing borders is something for which Pacific Island nations may have to prepare.

"It's the last resort but for countries that have limited resources it's something that they need to envisage carefully. And again this is part of the characteristics of the countries that are actually disadvantaged but can be an advantage."

Tom Kiedrzynski of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.