In an effort to control a regional outbreak of severe influenza known as Singapore Flu, officials at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport installed a thermal scanner Monday, April 20, 2009.
The severe, though seldom fatal, form of flu is thought to be spread by international travelers and can cause rashes and sores on its victims feet, mouth and hands and is especially prevalent among young children. Isolated cases have been identified in West Java and Jakarta, traced in several instances to recent visitors to Singapore.
Sometimes referred to a hand, foot and mouth disease (HMFD), only one fatality has been linked to the diseases from among nearly 5,000 confirmed infections.
Tourists arriving in Bali found to be suffering from a fever are immediately sprayed with a 70% alcohol solution before being sent to an examination clinic at the airport for examination. Then if “Singapore Flu” symptoms are confirmed the passengers is sent to an isolation ward at a local hospital.
A similar fever scanning unit is also in operation at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The current outbreak of HMFD is not thought to be connected with the outbreak of swine flu now reported in the U.S.A. and Mexico.