Thais told not to panic about flu epidemic in US


BANGKOK, 15 January 2013  The Public Health Minister has told Thai residents not to panic over the flu epidemic in the US as the situation is now under control and the virus found is not a new type.

Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong said most of the cases reported in the American nation are influenza H3N2, which is a seasonal flu, not a new strain and does not mutate.

The minister, nonetheless, advised people to eat hot food and wash their hands frequently to prevent infection. Dr Pradit said the number of influenza patients this year has a tendency to rise but doctors have found fewer cases of patients with the H3N2 strain, which has been spreading in the US.

Travelers going in and out of Thailand and the US may continue to do so as usual. Those who are going to risk areas in the US should get flu shots at the Disease Control Department. People who have recently returned from America are advised to check themselves if they have any flu symptoms.