As news emerges that the swine flu virus has hit Europe, with cases confirmed in both Britain and Spain, three Czechs remain under surveillance after displaying symptoms of illness upon return from Mexico. Prague’s Ruzyně Airport has implemented a system of medical-checks for passengers returning from Northern and Central America, while the government has urged Czechs to avoid all non-essential travel to the region.
Two suspected cases of swine flu are being investigated by doctors in
Prague’s Bulovka and Motol hospitals, it was announced on Monday evening.
One of the two patients undergoing tests fell ill upon return from Mexico,
a spokesperson at Bulovka hospital told press. Prague’s Ruzyně Airport
has launched an information campaign and is offering medical check-ups in
light of an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico which has so far claimed over
140 lives. Some 20 beds at Prague’s Bulovka hospital have been readied in
case of an outbreak in the Czech Republic, and 2 million vaccinations
against the flu are at Czech doctors’ disposal, the country’s chief
health inspector, Michael Vít, has said.
In related news, the Czech EU presidency is working to convene an extraordinary meeting of the bloc’s health council to discuss the possible threat posed by the swine flu outbreak this Monday. The meeting itself is expected to be held on Thursday. European politicians have, in the meantime, called for calm.
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More than 100 pigs, found starving and in appalling conditions on a farm near Jihlava this week, have been put down. The order was put forward by the regional authorities. When discovered the animals had no water or feed but the farm’s owner denied maltreating them. The remains of more than 200 additional specimens were uncovered decomposing on the site. The authorities in the region called the case the worst animal abuse they had seen in 35 years. Police are continuing to investigate; if charged and found guilty of animal abuse the farm owner could see a fine, a ban from further activities, as well as a year in prison.
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