Last week I reported on the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait’s efforts to make swine flu, at least as a term, go away: the Embassy’s warden message described it as “H1N1 Influenza A, formerly known as swine flu”.
Apparently those efforts have been less than successful, as indicated by the latest warden message, posted below. Mr. Formerly Known as Swine Flu has now been acknowledged as Mr. Sometimes Referred to as Swine Flu.
Whatever his name, the Kuwaiti authorities clearly are not fooled – and nor are they interested in letting him get his former or sometimes hands on Kuwait residents. If you’re planning a trip to Kuwait in the near future, be ready for a health check-up. And if you’re planning a trip elsewhere in the region, be ready to be ready: I imagine that other countries may follow Kuwait’s lead.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
May 4, 2009
To: All American Wardens
From: Consular Section
Subject: Warden Notice 2009 – 8
Please circulate the following message without additions or omissions immediately to all American citizens within your area of responsibility.
May 4, 2009
This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens to the latest information regarding human cases of 2009-H1N1 influenza, sometimes referred to as swine flu. The Kuwait Ministry of Health, Ports and Frontiers Division, is distributing three-part health surveillance cards to travelers arriving from countries that have reported cases of the H1N1 influenza. Within 72 hours of arrival, travelers are required to report to a designated Ministry of Health clinic to receive a check-up. Currently, some Ministry of Health clinics are requiring travelers to return for a second check-up within seven days of arrival. Failure to meet these requirements could result in a fine or imprisonment.
The clinics are listed in Arabic on the back of the health surveillance card. With this card, most taxi drivers or hotel staff should be able to direct travelers to the nearest center. The ministry also has a website at http://www.moh.gov.kw/ that lists, in Arabic, the centers’ locations and contact information. One part of the health surveillance card will be kept by the traveler. Currently Kuwaiti authorities are not requiring travelers to turn in their copy of the card. Travelers transiting Kuwait or planning to be in Kuwait less than 72 hours should ask airport authorities for guidance upon arrival …