6 May 2009

American Samoa begins border surveillance in response to bird flu

8:23 am on 6 May 2009

An American Samoa health team boarded Monday night's Hawaiian Air flight to check on arriving passengers for swine flu.

This is the start of the territory's border surveillance in response to the H1N1 outbreak.

American Samoa's Medical Director for the Department of Health, Dr. Ivan Tuliau, said three passengers who showed flu symptoms were checked and all were released after they tested negative.

Passengers had to answer a Department of Health questionnaire and Dr Tuliau said there was only a five minute delay before passengers were allowed to disembark.

A mobile health clinic is now set up at the airport and yesterday it began checking flights bound from Apia.

Dr Tuliau says they will also be checking on arriving vessels at the port today.

The teams are also distributing awareness materials.