An important HotLine update for April 28, 2009, from the APFA Health, Safety/Security and Hotel Coordinators:
As you know, news headlines continue to be dominated by reports on the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, especially in and around Mexico City. There are confirmed or suspected cases in several other countries included limited reports from five states in the U.S.
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for Mexico today “out of an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Richard Besser, acting CDC director. “People should avoid non-essential travel to Mexico as a precaution to guard against contracting the swine flu,” the federal agency director warned.
APFA and the Company are actively following the reports to determine any impact on our Flight Attendants, their trips and their layovers. Our Flight Attendants’ welfare is our most important concern, therefore APFA is advocating every action be taken to protect the safety and welfare of our crew members.
The company has advised us that all AA aircraft flying to Mexico will be provided with Ancillary Kits, which contain masks, gloves, hand sanitizer wipes and thermometer strips.
If you have concerns regarding a passenger illness, please contact the Captain, who can reach the Physician-on-Call through Dispatch for instructions on how to properly and effectively use the contents of these kits.
Additionally, crew members should cooperate with local government health authorities who will be conducting enhanced passenger screening at the Mexico City airport. If you have concerns that a passenger may be exhibiting symptoms of a potential communicable disease, please follow standard protocols.
Just as with the seasonal flu, crew members and the traveling public alike should always use sensible precautions, including:
* Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
More information is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at:
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person mainly through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
If you feel you have been exposed to swine flu or have some of the listed symptoms you should immediately make an appointment with your physician. There are prescription antiviral medications that fight the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body, when taken early in the course of this illness.
The situation is very fluid and changing rapidly as many public services have been adversely affected in Mexico City. We will continue to update the APFA Hotline and website as events unfold. Remember that we rely on each other to protect our health and safety. Stay connected to APFA and monitor the CDC for the latest updates.
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