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Airports to Screen for H1N1

Airports are expected to screen passengers, take temperatures and even quarantine passengers if there's someone on board who may have the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu. While bus and train stations will also be providing education on flu symptoms, it's airports who are taking it to a new level.

While cleaning and hand sanitizers are doing double duty in high-traffic areas, flight attendant unions are lobbying for sanitary masks to prevent contagion. H1N1 vaccinations are also now available in the United States and other countries for those wanting extra protection.

I previously wrote about the swine flu drama airlines are creating for themselves. Because although $6 billion may have been lost to the swine flu (or nickel-and-diming passengers, you be the judge) most airlines seem to have contributed to the global panic by overreacting to it. (One doctor for Cathay Pacific Airways admitted that distributing surgical masks sent the wrong message, but felt the airline had to because their competition was also giving out masks.) Most health experts say screening or travel restrictions are little use in containing the spread of the virus.

If airports truly want to be safe, they need to provide a place for voluntary flu -- namely swine flu -- shots for their passengers. If CVS/Pharmacy can sell flu shots, I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to allow them in any major airport. Maybe some airport administrator or airline will show some true initiative.

Photo of flu shot courtesy of the New York State Department of Health

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