<<If the UK had implemented controls at their airports earlier instead of allowing people from Mexico to enter freely, the number of cases would not be so high.>>
Rubbish, it might have delayed things by a week or two at best, but the FACT is that these scanners have a *huge* rate of false positives (people reported as having a disease when they don't) that overwhelms the few cases that are found, and same for false negatives (people with the disease who are missed) - for many people the symptoms are so mild they don't even realise they have flu. So maybe on a plane with 10 people with swine flu, one of them gets stopped, the other 9 go through . Difference in rate of infection, practically zero. But it looks like someone is doing something, so its 'a good thing'.
There is no medical or statistical logic to this, its knee-jerk reaction that makes it look like the authorities are doing something because that's what the public expect.nWitness the two poor girls entering Kos, one of whom it seems was locked up for a week because her friend had a slightly high temp for a few hours - why just lock her up, why not the people in front or behind or across the aisle, why notthe flight crew who served them, for that matter why not the entire plane load as they have all been sat rebreathing the same air for four hours.
Also consider the knock on effects, lock up enough people and then those who are genuinely unwell cant get a hospital bed as they are full of people who were hot for 10 minutes after getting off a plane. Will the death of an elderly person ora child who went to hospital 2 days later than otherwise be reported as 'swine flu' related? Next we hear about mass vaccinations, give it long enough and the odds are high the side effects from these largely untested vaccinations will be many times worse than the disease. Its happened before.
It is a fact that the uncontrolled admission of people from Mexico in the early days was one of the factors that led to the rapid rise in swine flu in UK. You may remember the first two cases were from people returning from Mexico. Other factors include the population density in a city like London. I said nothing about cameras in that initial screening of the people entering the country from Mexico. Other countries examined and if necessary quarantined Mexican arrivals at that early stage. It is too late now for the UK now to screen people :55,000 infections, 652 hospitalised, 55 of those critical, 29 people dead.
I am glad my adopted country is doing what it can to prevent swine flu infected people from circulating amongst the population.
There are thermal scanners in place in airports all over the world, and in many cases they've been in place and operational since the SARS epidemic. In some locations they are used not only on arriving travellers but also on departing ones in order to isolate passengers with high temperatures so there can be some limit on the transmission of the virus on airplanes. I would think twice before attempting to travel with a fever. You may be separated from your vacation at one end of your flight or the other.
It's estimated that at the moment there are something in the vicinity of 100k infected folks in the US alone. Most of them won't even be aware that they have the H1N1 strain. Because of its greater population densities, there has also been an estimate of a minimum of 100k+ with the virus in the UK, as well.
It isn't really difficult for the airport officials to identify the travellers with fevers because there are a couple of bottlenecks for both departing and arriving passengers in most airports these days.
On a recent trip to Turkey at Dalaman airport they were all wearing medical masks, I felt like a leper arriving there,I suppose they would have had thermal scanners. (We only went to a friends golden wedding party, Turkey was not our choice, we are lovers of Greece)
Are they wearing masks at Greek airports ?
that only protects the airport staff, if they are taking it that far maybe cabin crew should be issued with them, why not all the passengers to protect them from each other, having said that we always take a mask with us on flights in case there is someone near is with a cold, there is nothing worse than someone coughing and sneezing down your neck, it can project about six rows, we don't want to start with a bad cold on holiday it can ruin it!
I have heard today that they are no longer testing for swine flu in UK so not sure how you would stand with travel insurance if you think you have it and decide not to travel. Presume you would not be covered by travel insurance without doctors note!
How many travellers are going to stay at home because they are worried about being stopped at airport, miss their holiday and get no compensation from travel insurance?
>Are they wearing masks at Greek airports?<
Not that I've seen.
<<I am glad my adopted country is doing what it can to prevent swine flu infected people from circulating amongst the population. >>
As far as I know, Holland hasnt got cameras at airports, yet they have 50% more people and fewer SF cases than Greece. So perhaps its not the cameras, maybe its the gouda ,the clogs or the wacky tobaccy that's doing it?
In any case obviously whatever the Dutch are doing (nothing probably) is more effective than Greek cameras, don't mistake pointless activity including locking up people who aren't ill, with any difference in infection rates.
Zoe, they have the cameras in Switzerland and they are wearing gloves and masks.
There was a piece on the news about which countries have the thermal cameras but -as usual- I wasn't paying attention! ;-)
Hi people --
I just read that the UK has reported 55,000 new cases of H1N1 infections to the WHO in the last week, alone. I think that may have some bearing on the fact that Greek airports are meeting your flights with thermal imagers. Contained populations like those on small islands are very much at risk in the event of pandemics.
I still can't see how this thermal scanning is 100% foolproof. From a past background in Occupational Medicine the normal range for body temperature is 36.1 - 37.8 degrees Celsius (97 - 100 degrees F) with the norm being 37C. Thyroid problems can elevate body temperature so someone with such a medical condition could technically raise a false alarm.
BTW, on a recent trip to France there were no thermal imagers at Edinburgh or Toulouse airports. And no one wearing masks either. Presumably the WHO don't consider it mandatory for such measures ?