Swine flu: Worse to come, warn experts

Goa to ask for exit screening for charter tourists

“The second wave may start within a fortnight or two months or even a year. But going by past experience, it could bring with it a far more virulent strain of H1N1 influenza,” Dr Rajendra Tamba, state epidemiologist and nodal officer warned.

The second wave of the Spanish flu in 1918, also caused by the H1N1 type virus killed millions of people. Tamba said the first wave had only just begun in India. “We want people to come forward and report any flu-like symptoms immediately,” he said. A local man who tested positive for swine flu after a trip to Europe, was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after treatment.

Goa has set up two rapid response teams and will soon begin screening passengers from domestic flights as well, Tamba said.

The state government is also expected to move for exit screening (from the country of origin) for tourists who travel here on direct charter flights. UK and Russia account for the largest number of charter arrivals to Goa. Over 80,000 British tourists and 43,000 Russians came on charter flights last year.

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