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Vietnam forum

Swine Flu

Posted by Adrienne07 on 28/4/2009 at 09:21

I will be traveling to Vietnam next week. Wondering if there are any restrictions in view of the spread of swine flu?

Any precautions that the government/local legistration had carried out?

#1 Adrienne07 has been a member since 20/4/2009. Posts: 5

Posted by neosho on 28/4/2009 at 11:11

Can't speak about Vietnam. Haven't heard. One SUSPECTED case in Singapore and 26 SUSPECTED cases in New Zealand. Thailand is doing thermal monitoring of people coming from countries where cases are SUSPECTED. As are a lot of other countries. I emphasize the word SUSPECTED so as not to sound a panic alarm. Just keep up with the news and see how rapidly this thing develops.

#2 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

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Posted by busylizzy on 28/4/2009 at 18:08

I know the question was about Vietnam, but since NZ was mentioned in neosho's response, I thought I'd update the NZ situation.

There are now 56 suspected cases, but 3 have now been confirmed as swine flu. The 3 confirmed cases were part of a group of highschool students who travelled to Mexico on a school trip. They were almost immediately placed in quarantine on their arrival home on Saturday, pending test results.

The remaining suspected cases are primarily other students who were in the groups that travelled to Mexico, were on the flight home to NZ from LA, or had otherwise been in Mexico. All but one of the students have already nearly recovered; the one remaining has asthma-related problems.

It is a bit scary - but it appears that NZ reacted reasonably quickly to contain suspected cases. And as I understand, it's not considered to by any more contagious than any other strain of influenza.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by TheGoose on 29/4/2009 at 14:07

Posted from within Vietnam.

Not sure when arriving in the country but there are no restrictions on movement at the moment. I've been travelling around freely here since this thing broke out.

#4 TheGoose has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 29

Posted by timpdx on 1/5/2009 at 06:56

I just got back from Phnom Penh, and on the return, while connecting in Seoul back to the US, they handed out a yellow sheet that you were to fill out if you had any symptoms. Three weeks ago heading over to Cambodia from the US via Seoul, no such form was used. That was the only change I noticed, just a piece of paper. No problems, no delays, even went though Korean customs so I could see Seoul for a few hours on the layover.

#5 timpdx has been a member since 1/5/2009. Posts: 3

Posted by brucemoon on 1/5/2009 at 13:40


Don't you just hate the ultra right conservative agenda of and for FEAR? This one is a doozie!!!

I saw an interview with THE leading expert on epidemics/pandemics & swine flu for the US (on the Oz ABC).

She was saying that the 'issue' of epidemics/pandemics is related to a set of criteria related to (1) the number of vectors (ie carriers), (2) the relative speed of cross infections, and (3) the percentage impact the disease in a (human) population.

Explaining these:


She said that swine flu has been around for many years. What APPEARS to be different is that this time, poultry, swine, and humans APPEAR to be vectors. She was at pains to say that this is merely a proposition, there is not yet any conclusive evidence.

In the case of 'bird flu' or H5N1, only poultry and humans were/are vectors.

She said that without evidence for or against the fact, health officials globally are now obligated to pursue the worst case scenario. She said that the time it took to address bird flu [H5N1] was instructive for this global approach.


She said that the UN Health Agency IS concerned at the apparent relative speed of cross infections.

But, having said that, she also said that Mexico has no applicable data that allows the US (or the UN) to ascertain whether 'relative speed' is slower, normal, or faster than usual for a flu 'outbreak'.


She was VERY VERY concerned that there is no data to comprehend the percentage of the disease in human populations.

She said no-one knows what percentage of the population will get the disease if exposed. She pointed out many people have their own immunity to some diseases. Just because there is a flu outbreak doesn't mean that everyone will come down with the flu.

She also said that no data is yet available to show what percentage of the Mexican population has been exposed to swine fever, what percentage of those exposed have developed flu-like symptoms, nor what percentage have ended up in hospital.

She said that some people will feel flu-like symptoms, but it will not progress. She said that without this knowledge, no-one can say whether the 'outbreak' is a problem or otherwise.

- - - - -

Importantly, she fully supported the UN Health 'early warning' advice of relative pandemic status. That the 'status' is now 5 (out of a scale of 6) only means that health authorities in ALL nations need to invoke certain reactive measures.

She also pointed out that the media are not fully aware that the pandemic 'status' is not a signal of a pandemic, rather, an early warning system for a nations' health officials to undertake action to prevent a possible epidemic/pandemic.

She added that if the media could calm down and properly inform people to be careful, rather than motivate them to panic, all would be better off.

- - - - - -

One very wise comment she made was that late April is normally not the time a flu epidemic begins.

She questioned whether Mexico was now over-reacting. But, having said that, she was at pains to also say that in the face of an 'epidemic'-like outbreak, health officials would be stupid not to act. It is better to be safe than sorry.

She also said that flu type diseases are more prone to affect people in temperate climates than tropical climates.

She also said that this 'outbreak' would probably be short lived because of the onset of spring/summer (in the northern hemisphere), but that if there were to be any problems it's much more likely to be in southern hemisphere countries (such as here in Australia).

- - - - - -

Given the reaction to that interview (it's been widely acclaimed on Australian media as sensible and very influential), I would suggest that you also look at your own situation calmly.

If you are interacting with westerners, ask yourself whether those westerners have just arrived from Mexico (or had contact with same).

If you'd rather not increase your potential exposure to (at this stage largely) a westerner 'experienced' disease, then try and avoid hanging out with mass numbers of westerners (or those that could have just flown in from OS).

You might like to consider not staying out getting drunk to all hours, or doing similar rash things, so that your body isn't compromised (and hence more exposed to disease).

And, if you'd still like to party, get a face mask to use and make fun about it.

Certainly don't fall victim to the ultra right conservative agenda of and for fear.


#6 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by brucemoon on 1/5/2009 at 15:21

Hi, again...

I've been just reading a financial report - as you do...

When zippo, out this fascinating report pops....

"...And the US government need not spend any extra money on public health warning videos for TV … they've done it all before. Remarkably, there was a significant swine flu scare back in 1976 and although it has received little mention in this week's reports, the video from American television back in 1976 looks spot on for today's pandemic fear merchants."

Back in 1976 !!!!!

"today's pandemic fear merchants"...!!!


cheers, again

#7 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by brucemoon on 2/5/2009 at 08:25

And, again hi

Because of the fear 'issue', here is a further update from Fairfax media (Australia)...

"The first case of swine flu was confirmed in Asia on Friday as health experts said a vaccine should be ready in a few months and Mexico said the virus was not as aggressive as originally feared.

Confirmation by Hong Kong authorities that a traveller from Mexico tested positive for A(H1N1) flu virus saw an entire hotel quarantined and sent shivers through the territory which was at the centre of the 2003 SARS crisis...

The Mexican government Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said the new count -- up from 12 dead and 300 infected -- did not represent new cases but rather better testing and analysis of a backlog of "probable" cases in the epicentre of the crisis.

"Fortunately the virus is not so aggressive -- it's not a case of avian flu, which had a mortality rate of nearly 70 percent," Cordova told reporters.

He added that the A(H1N1) flu virus was easily treated with anti-viral medicine "if treatment is given from the first day...

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the new strain of swine flu does not appear to be as virulent as a 1918 influenza outbreak that is estimated to have killed up to 50 million people worldwide.

Mexico's Cordova noted the flu virus was also not as dangerous as the SARS epidemic that swept through China and 30 other countries in 2003, killing more than 800 people worldwide.

"This (H1N1 flu) virus is considered less deadly," he said...

Most cases outside Mexico have involved only mild symptoms of the illness that can be easily treated with existing flu medicines, and some experts have suggested the virus may have weakened as it was carried outside the country."

- - - -

So, perhaps the most severe 'precaution' one might take is pre-purchase a packet of Tamiflu: the (readily available) drug used to treat the disease.


#8 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Phen0m on 2/5/2009 at 10:48

Posted from within Vietnam.


I am an expat living in Vietnam. here in Vietnam there are no cases of swine flu, also there are no problems leaving/enetering vietnam yet. They have feaver cameras at the airport outside hanoi. But vietnam will most likely get infected because vietnam is a very very dirty country (even I as a foreigner have diarrhea every three month) and because the wastewater system is very bad, especially in hanoi, making a spread of swine flu easier. To add to that most vietnamese people can't afford medications.

#9 Phen0m has been a member since 2/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by Stigron on 2/5/2009 at 15:00

Go for it Bruce.... I wholly agree.
This media bullshit needs to be put in perspective.
I was in Vietnam and Cambodia last wekk and to be honest we didn't even know about "swine flu".

35000 people a year die in the USA alone and all of a sudden we have a few deaths in Mexico city (one of the dirtiest in the world) and the world goes into panic.

remind you of SARS and Bird Flu??

#10 Stigron has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 28

Posted by rebeccafarrent on 2/5/2009 at 16:14

Posted from within Vietnam.


Thanks for sharing what you know. It's also our concern as we are visiting Vietnam this summer and wondering if we should leave it behind.

#11 rebeccafarrent has been a member since 2/5/2009. Posts: 37

Posted by brucemoon on 2/5/2009 at 16:32


What are you "wondering if we should leave it behind"?


Tamifly tabs?

Concerns about A(H1N1)?

Not sure what you mean...


#12 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/5/2009 at 17:19 admin

Good post here about the "risk" of swine flu in Vietnam:

"Wine Flu" a far bigger risk if you ask me ;-)

#13 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,939
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Posted by brucemoon on 2/5/2009 at 17:45


Not much wine in SE Asia.

Don't you mean 'whine-flu'?


#14 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by brucemoon on 2/5/2009 at 17:54

Also, everyone,

for a bit of humour on this topic, go to:


#15 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by brucemoon on 8/5/2009 at 13:48



90 people get the Swine Flu and everybody wants to wear a mask.
Millions of people have AIDS and no one wants to wear a condom.


#16 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by smartlyndy on 8/5/2009 at 14:15

Ha - not sure what I've learned here but I'm laughing a lot!
Think I'll just avoid tongue kissing Mexican pigs!

#17 smartlyndy has been a member since 7/5/2009. Posts: 33

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