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Patient recently returned from Mexico is tested for swine flu

social- och hälsovårdsministeriet
Publication date 29.4.2009 12.07
Press release -

The cause of a respiratory infection of a patient recently returned from Mexico is being investigated in the area of the Päijät-Häme Hospital District. The final results confirming whether or not the patient has an infection caused by the new type of influenza virus are expected in about a week. However, confirmation of whether or not the patient has influenza is expected in a day or two. If the patient does not have influenza, the isolation can be cancelled and the medication discontinued.

In Europe there are at present ten confirmed cases of swine flu: five in the UK, three in Germany and two in Spain. Suspected cases of swine flu have been discovered in more than ten EU Member States, and samples from more than a hundred patients are tested.

Primary help at the local health centre

After returning from infected areas such as Mexico or the United States, people are advised to monitor their health closely. Travellers should contact their local health centre or occupational health services by phone if they observe any of the following symptoms within seven days of their return home: fever (38 °C or more) or respiratory problems such as cough, a sore throat or stuffy nose. Other typical influenza symptoms include body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

More information about swine flu is available at health centres or at the address www.thl.fi.

Finland gets swine flu vaccine

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will be acquiring the swine flu vaccine as soon as it is available. The vaccine can be manufactured only after a pandemic has begun, when the structure of the virus is ascertained. At the moment there is no swine flu vaccine available. Immunisation requires two doses of vaccine. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health decided on Tuesday to reserve a second dose of vaccine.

In addition, the emergency stocks are supplemented with additional doses of antiviral drugs and with extra personal protective equipment for the care personnel. The National Emergency Supply Agency is in charge of the restocking.

The Government received yesterday a report on the swine flu situation. Yesterday the Government also revised the Communicable Diseases Decree by including the new H1N1 human virus as a generally hazardous communicable disease.

European health ministers convene today in Luxembourg

The European health ministers discuss the swine flu outbreak in their meeting in Luxembourg today, April 30. Finland is represented by the Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko. Finland finds it important that the EU jointly complies with the WHO guidelines and recommendations. In the meeting, Finland also emphasises the importance of EU level coordination in preparing for a potential pandemic.

More information on swine flu is available on the websites of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

More information

Tapani Melkas, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. (09) 160 73886
Merja Saarinen, Ministerial Counsellor/Health Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel.  (09) 160 74030
Olli Haikala, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. (09) 160 73214
Juhani Eskola, Director-General, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. 020 610 6006

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