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Postby Toonster » Tue 21 Jul 2009 07:35 GMT

It makes sense... For a start, the airline can't afford to have their staff go off sick!

And there's always a possibility with our litigious culture (can't wait to get to NZ and away from all of that!) that the airline could be held responsible if they "knowingly" allowed someone with swine flu to travel and then someone else on the plane caught it and died of it.
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 Jul 2009 07:43 GMT

I've got a number of issues with it

1. allowing non-medically trained check-in staff to decide if someone has the symptoms of swine flu, which are the same as normal flu, or not dissimilar to a cold
2. So far swine flu is no worse than normal flu - in fact is mortality rate is somewhat lower, so why pick on swine flu
3. airlines have long claimed that the ventilation systems on aircraft do not allow the airborne transmission of diseases
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Postby Toonster » Tue 21 Jul 2009 08:08 GMT

1) Yes - I can see that - the article does say that medical advice would be given, so I would presume that they would be using an in-airport doctor / medical staff - the check in staff being used to initally spot the symptoms.

2) The mortality rate may be lower, but the transmission rate is higher - i.e. the number of people who catch it, and thereby are removed from the workforce (at a time of global recession, the impact of losing workers even for a week or two can't be underestimated)

In ferrets (the article states that they are a good model for human transmission), the transmission rate for H1N1 was 100% as opposed to 66% for seasonal flu.
http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=28420&channel_id=1020



WHO states
Computer modeling based on the early data from Mexico estimates that up to three times as many people may have been infected with influenza A(H1N1) than would have been expected if the outbreak had been caused by seasonal influenza.

http://www.wpro.who.int/media_centre/news/news_20090515.htm

Both of these are studies published a month or so ago - I'm trying to find more recent data, but all I'm getting is panic from the tabloid papers... :?

3) Unfortunately, whilst airline ventilation system may prevent infection, it's not going to stop someone who is sat in the row behind you, or who walks past you on the way to the toilet, from passing it on to you.

And whilst most of the deaths in the UK have been from people with underlying health issues, again, if someone with a mild heart condition or asthma travels on a plane with someone who has swine flu, catches it and dies, if it can be tracked back to that airline, then the aircompany could be held responsible (yes, stupid I know, but that's US litigation culture for you :? )
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Postby gozomark » Tue 21 Jul 2009 08:21 GMT

someone arrives at the gate (having checked on line) one minute before the gate closes - the checkin person at the gate sees them sneezing. It takes a doctor say 15 minutes to get to the gate. The airline refuses to hold the flight up. Do they stop them boarding ?

do we do the same for buses, and trains ?

I accept your very valid points on my other comments
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Postby Toonster » Tue 21 Jul 2009 08:30 GMT

Hmmm - good point :?

And yes, the buses and trains point is good - I do wonder when I hear the person on the aisle opposite me coughing and sneezing away whether I'm going to get ill (but then I could do with some time off - work has been evil! :wink: )....
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