1 May 2009
The H1N1 virus also known as the swine flu virus is now less than a mere two flight hours away from the Philippines as Hongkong declares its first confirmed case of the infection. The patient is a 25-year-old Mexican man visiting Hongkong. This is also the first confirmed case of swine flu virus infection in Asia.
With this development, the stakes are raised higher for the Philippines. Take the case of thermal scanning at the country's international airports. This is our first line of defense in blocking the entry of the swine flu virus.
An incoming passenger who already has the swine flu virus will be detected by the thermal scanners only if he or she is already showing symptoms of the virus which in this case is fever. That same infected person will not be detected by the thermal scanners if his infection is still in the incubation stage. After passing the airport detection process, he or she will then be able to mingle with the general population. Only after exhibiting symptoms of the infection will he then become a suspected carrier of the infection, tested, observed and confirmed. By that time, the infection he has caused could already be widespread.