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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09BRASILIA523 2009-04-29 10:55:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brasilia
Cable title:  

MGSF01: H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK AND BRAZIL - SITREP NO.2

Tags:   KFLU AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO 
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VZCZCXRO1853
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #0523/01 1191055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291055Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4150
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3926
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7616
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9421
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1571
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000523 

DEPT FOR OES/IHB AMBASSADOR LOFTIS
DEPT FOR WHA/BSC
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO
PREL, PINR, AMGT, MG, BR
SUBJECT: MGSF01: H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK AND BRAZIL - SITREP NO.2

BRASILIA 00000523 001.2 OF 002


(U) THIS MESSAGE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION. PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY.



1. (SBU) This report provides an update on developments in Brazil
regarding the H1N1 Flu outbreak.

NEW REPORTED CASES:



2. (SBU) The Health Ministry still has not confirmed any cases of
H1N1 flu in Brazil. As of the afternoon of Tuesday, April 28,tThe
National Agency on Health Vigilance (ANVISA) and the Health Ministry
are currently monitoring 20 cases of suspected infections in the
states of Santa Catarina, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, Minas Gerais,
Rio Grande do Norte, Bahia, Parana and Para. Most of these cases
have originated from travelers returning to Brazil from Mexico and
the United States with flu-like symptoms. Health Ministry officials
tell Post that six cases are being ruled out as possible H1N1 Flu
cases.

BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT'S RECENT ACTIONS:



3. (SBU) The Health Ministry and ANVISA are urging the public to
remain calm and not to panic. Many of the individuals suspected of
infection have been placed in isolated and controlled areas at local
hospitals. The Brazilian Government has created a working group
comprised of officials from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture
and officials from ANVISA to deal with H1N1 Flu in Brazil. This
group is meeting on a daily basis, if not more often. Working
groups dealing with H1N1 Flue have been set up at some of Brazil's
largest airports. These airport groups include support from the
Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (INFRAERO) and the
Brazilian customs officials (Receita Federal). The Health Ministry
has trained responders from its toll-free health hotline on how to
advise people who call with concerns regarding H1N1 Flu. The
Ministry has also released a list of 51 hospitals in the country
that are prepared to receive individuals with cases of H1N1 Flu.



4. (SBU) ANVISA and the Ministry of Health have printed around
140,000 pamphlets with information regarding the virus in
Portuguese, Spanish, and English, and have been passing them out at
six different airports throughout the country. In addition,
INFRAERO officers have been instructed to monitor passengers coming
into Brazil on flights originating from the United States and Mexico
for signs of the flu. Aircraft coming in from the United States and
Mexico have been instructed to make an announcement directing
passengers with flu-like symptoms to notify crewmembers on the
plane. The crewmembers have been instructed to notify ANVISA and
INFRAERO once they land about individuals who are experiencing such
symptoms. These individuals are then to be inspected on the plane
by ANVISA and INFRAERO officials, and taken by ambulance directly to
a hospital if needed. In addition, ANVISA is collecting passenger
information from baggage slips so as to notify passengers in case of
a suspected infection or outbreak originating from a particular
flight.



5. (SBU) The daily newspapers "O Globo" and "Jornal do Brasil"
report, however, that several passengers arriving at some of
Brazil's international airports from Mexico and the United States
complained of a lack of information and attention on and off the
aircraft. They complained that agents did not take any information
from them, such as their name and address so as to be able to
confirm later that they had not been infected, and that they
received pamphlets that were only printed in Portuguese and not in
English or Spanish. In addition, pharmacies and drug stores have
reportedly been inundated with people seeking to purchase flu
medicines, sanitary gloves, and face masks.



6. (SBU) The governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio
Cabral, said on April 28 that there was little that Rio de Janeiro
could do to prevent the virus from reaching the area. Cabral stated
that the State must create a much wider network of protection in
order to create effective barriers to screen and handle the high
influx of visitors and tourists that come into Rio de Janeiro, but
that this would be a very difficult task for the State to handle.


BRASILIA 00000523 002.2 OF 002



DEVELOPMENTS WITH MISSION BRAZIL:



7. (SBU) Mission Brazil continues to monitor the status of its
staff members and their families. A working group tracks the travel
of individuals coming to and from the Mission in order to ascertain
whether they have visited areas where cases of H1N1 Flu have been
confirmed. Brazil-based officials from the Centers for Disease
Control and Embassy officials maintain an extended hand of
assistance towards the Brazilian Government and its health
institutions. They are in frequent contact with Brazilian health
and government officials concerning the matter.



8. (SBU) COMMENT: Many of the specialists from the Brazilian Health
Ministry who have been involved in handling the issue of H1N1 Flu in
Brazil are graduates of or current participants in the CDC-supported
Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). This FETP training has
increased the efficiency and capacity of these health officials to
deal with and prepare for the problems H1N1 Flu potentially
presents, and it has enhanced the relationship and lines of
communication between Mission personnel and the Brazilian
Government. The current situation illustrates how this training is
paying off. END COMMENT.

SOBEL