The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that passengers arriving in Israel from the U.S. and Canada who have a fever will undergo a medical examination upon arrival to determine whether they have swine flu. Until now, only passengers arriving directly from Mexico were subject to the ministry directive.
Individuals with a temperature above 38 degrees will be taken to an emergency room near their place of residence to undergo tests.
So far seven patients have been positively diagnosed with swine flu in Israel. All seven have recovered and are in "excellent" medical condition, according to the ministry. Three other patients suspected of contracting the flu are currently being quarantined at hospitals throughout the country. All three recently returned to Israel from the U.S.
According to Health Ministry data, 5,140 patients were confirmed as having contracted swine flu, also known by as H1N1, in 30 different countries.
Officials said symptoms were similar to common flu and included respiratory difficulties. Only three patients who have contracted the virus have died from causes related to the illness outside of Mexico, which is where the flu is believed to have originated.
The Health Ministry memo circulated on Tuesday stated that the World Health Organization has raised its alert to Level 5, indicating the flu's high contagiousness. It added that while no restrictions have been placed on international travel it advised passengers who feel ill to undergo a medical check-up before they board their flights.
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