The Ministries of Health and Social Services, in conjunction with the Red Cross, have agreed to set up 44 information booths at 35 Spanish airports to inform passengers and the public about ‘swine flu’.
The booths will be manned by 176 volunteers, working in shifts, and they will hand out leaflets and provide information about the influenza. The leaflets will be in three languages and special attention will be given where flights to Mexico are involved or where transit takes place.
Direct communication is also being introduced with pilots flying from countries where cases of porcine influenza exist so that in the event that a passenger is detected as being ‘infected’, the appropriate measures can be taken.
An infected passenger may only be attended by a member of the flight crew who is suitably protected against infection and the plane, upon arrival, will then be isolated to avoid contact with passengers and staff at the airport.
In Spain, Andalucía has the most confirmed cases of porcine influenza, 21 at the last count. However, all are recovering, with the aid of medication, in their homes, and none have required hospitalisation.
So far, the flu virus has been less virulent than expected, although the authorities are still being cautious and are keen to wait a reasonable time to see how, or if, the virus evolves and mutates.