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Statement by the Hon. John Maginley, chairman, CTO Council of Ministers, on swine flu

Statement by the Hon. John Maginley, chairman, CTO Council of Ministers, on swine flu (Forimmediaterelease.net) Although there are currently no identifiable cases of swine flu among the 33 Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) member countries, the region is taking a proactive effort related to this virus.

As has been reported, regional health officials have been meeting to determine a strategy to deal with the wwine flu virus after outbreaks were reported in Mexico, the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The CTO has been in contact with the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as with member countries as we gather information and review the global situation. While the swine flu virus has not been reported in the Caribbean, member countries have already begun adopting measures for greater surveillance to prevent the virus from spreading to the region.

The CTO’s web site, www.onecaribbean.org , provides updated information from member countries and links to the PAHO www.paho.org site, as well as the World Health Organization www.who.int/en/ and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ .

Travelers planning visits to the Caribbean should also visit the web sites of individual member nations for any further information on individual policies and screening procedures relating to prevention of the swine flu.

The CTO will continue to monitor the global situation closely. In the meantime, travelers should follow simple guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus, including:

· If you are experiencing respiratory illness, avoid travel and contact your health care provider
· Wash hands frequently to lessen the spread of respiratory illness
· Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or appear ill
· Cover coughs and sneezes
· Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

For more information and updates, visit www.onecaribbean.org .

Johnson JohnRose Communications Officer Caribbean Tourism Organization Tel (246) 427-5242 ext. 229 Email: jjohnrose@caribtourism.com Efax: (435)921-7505 / (425) 952-9868

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