Three being tested for swine flu

THREE people on the North Coast are being tested for swine flu, North Coast Area Health confirmed late yesterday.

The area's director of Public Health Paul Corben would not release details about their ages and sexes, but said they had recently returned from the US, Canada and Mexico.

He said the three people presented themselves to health facilities on the North Coast with flu-like symptoms.

Health authorities have taken blood samples and given them anti-viral medication.

The results of the blood test, which will reveal if it is a regular flu or swine flu, should be known within three days, he said.

“The North Coast is at the same risk from human swine flu as the rest of Australia,” Mr Corben said.

“NCHAS Public Health staff are working very hard and have increased surveillance, enhanced infection control, replenishing infection control stocks and antivirals and keeping Emergency Departments and GPs aware of significant changes in the situation.”

Mr Corben said the first suspected cases were discovered late Thursday, the latest being reported yesterday.

He urged people returning from Mexico, Canada and USA to immediately contact their doctor if they developed flu-like symptoms.

“We are being very conservative how we are approaching people who fit the travel and illness picture,” Mr Corben said.

Mr Corben confirmed that under the Federal Government's pandemic plan, Australians should now be stockpiling 14 days worth of supplies of food, water and basic medicines.

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