Hawaii to screen int'l passengers for flu-like illness

Hawaii will implement a checkpoint screening process to detect flu-like illness among incoming international travelers at Honolulu International Airport. The program will last one year.

The screening process for passengers will begin with a questionnaire, which includes basic demographic information, recent travel itinerary and illness history (including the presence or absence of fever.)

Travelers feeling feverish will be asked to voluntarily pass through a checkpoint process. Nurses will check passenger questionnaires for indication of illness. If fever is detected during the screening process, the traveler will be asked to have his or her throat swabbed to test for a flu infection.

Passengers without a fever or other symptoms of illness will be directed to the customs area to resume routine entry procedures.

Hawaii said the program builds upon the illness surveillance procedures that the state's Department of Health began at Honolulu International Airport in November 2005, when Hawaii began a program designed to detect influenza-like illness and help identify infection by new flu virus strains, including avian flu.


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