Caribbean Nations Take Swine Flu Precautions


Although there have been no reported cases of swine flu in the Caribbean, individual destinations have stepped up measures to help ensure that infected visitors do not enter the country.

In Jamaica, the island’s ports of entry are on alert to screen travelers arriving from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada where cases of swine flu have been confirmed, according to Health Minister Rudyard Spencer.

In the Bahamas, the Ministry of Health and related agencies activated their preparedness plans to limit the spread of the influenza strain if any cases are identified, according to Health Minister Hubert Minnis.

The ministry is stocking antiviral medications and will implement quarantines if necessary, Minnis said.

Surveillance measures in the Bahamas’ ports of entry are monitoring the health of arriving individuals. Immigration and customs officers can contact 24-hour, on-call health officials if there are concerns about a traveler.

Belize, which shares a northern border with Mexico, issued a travel advisory discouraging travel to Mexico, according to Health Minister Pablo Marin. Local authorities have stepped up surveillance across Belize to detect cases of swine flu but none has been found.

St. Kitts and Nevis increased surveillance at official points of entry and mobilized its Rapid Response Team and stockpiles of medical supplies, according to Chief Medical Officer Patrick Martin.

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