Finland to Launch Swine Flu Response Plan
    2009-04-28 01:19:05     Xinhua      Web Editor: Chu Daye
 

Finland is prepared to launch an action plan against possible swine flu outbreak on the basis of the plan drawn up in 2006 in case of pandemic avian influenza, local media reported Monday.

Finland has stockpiled 1.3 million doses of the antiviral medicine Tamiflu in preparation for a viral pandemic, said Tapani Melkas of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The drug was originally intended for the treatment of avian influenza, but it should also be effective against swine flu.

According to the ministry, the stocks of antiviral medicine and antibiotics are both sufficient.

"People in contact with infected patients would be quarantined," Ville Valtonen, chief physician of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Aurora hospital in the capital Helsinki, told Finnish media. Infected patients would initially be treated at the hospital.

In case of a swine flu outbreak throughout Finland, temporary intensive care units will be set up at Meilahti hospital in Helsinki.

Finnish health officials are keeping a close watch on the progress of the swine flu outbreak in Mexico. So far there has been no indication that a pandemic will arise in Finland.

However, suspected cases have been detected in three other Nordic countries. There is one suspected case in Norway, and five in both Sweden and Denmark.

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