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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BRASILIA538
2009-05-04 10:51:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Brasilia
Cable title:  

MGSF01: SWINE FLU AND BRAZIL: SITREP #4

Tags:   TBIO  KFLU  CASC  AEMR  ASEC  KSAF  PREL  PINR  AMGT  KFLO 
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VZCZCXRO5462
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #0538/01 1241051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041051Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4166
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3936
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7627
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9430
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1575
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000538 

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: TBIO KFLU CASC AEMR ASEC KSAF PREL PINR AMGT KFLO
KPAO, BR
SUBJECT: MGSF01: SWINE FLU AND BRAZIL: SITREP #4

BRASILIA 00000538 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) There are no confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu in Brazil,
which may be due more to the fact that Brazil does not yet have the
ability to perform the necessary testing. Brazil expects to have
that capability shortly. As of the afternoon of April 30, the
Brazilian Ministry of Health, along with the National Agency on
Health Vigilance (ANVISA), is monitoring 36 people in 11 different
states who have flu-like symptoms and have traveled recently to
Mexico or the United States. Two of these cases, one in the State
of Sao Paulo and another in the State of Minas Gerais, are suspected
of being potential cases of H1N1, but as noted above no tests have
been performed yet to confirm this suspicion. A newspaper from
northeastern Brazil reported that medical officials in the State of
Paraiba suspect one woman, who recently returned from a trip to
Texas, may be infected with H1N1. This woman has not been included
in the Ministry of Health's list of monitored or suspected cases.
In the State of Espirito Santo a man and a woman who recently
returned from Mexico have been hospitalized with flu-like symptoms
and are being monitored by state officials, but have also not been
included in the Ministry of Health's record.

BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT'S RECENT ACTIONS:



3. (SBU) In a public statement yesterday afternoon, April 29,
Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomez Temporao entreated the public
not to self-medicate unnecessarily with anti-viral drugs such as
Tamiflu and Relenza. Instead of sending flu samples from Brazil to
the CDC or another WHO reference lab, Temporao explained that Brazil
had received the genome of the H1N1 flu and would use that
information to develop its own test. Temporao explained that it
will take the ministry's scientists ten days to develop the correct
testing assays to detect H1N1 in Brazil, and that once the assay is
created testing will take place at the Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Institute (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro.



4. (SBU) In his remarks, Temporao reaffirmed that Brazil has large
enough stockpiles of flu medicine to treat nine million individuals.
He reassured the public that the Ministry of Health and ANVISA were
working hard to monitor and regulate international travel coming
into Brazilian airports; and that 52 hospitals in the country were
prepared to handle potential H1N1 cases.



5. (SBU) On April 29, ANVISA released further information regarding
how it is handling flights originating from Mexico and the United
States. Pilots of these aircraft are being required to make an
announcement to the passengers on board asking them to notify the
crew if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. This announcement
is given in both English and Portuguese. Information about sick
passengers is then relayed to Brazilian health authorities.
Airlines are also requiring that masks be distributed to everyone on
the plane in the case that a sick passenger is identified.



6. (SBU) In an extended effort to keep the public informed, on
April 29, the Brazilian Government launched a public affairs
campaign on local TV and radio stations. This campaign broadcasts
facts and information related to the H1N1 flu outbreak, and counsels
viewers and listeners on what they can do to prevent infection, and
what to do/who to contact if they suspect infection has occurred.

DEVELOPMENTS WITH MISSION BRAZIL:



7. (SBU) Mission Brazil will be closed for a three day holiday
weekend in Brazil (in observation of International Labor Day). We
will continue to closely monitor the situation. The H1N1 Working
Group for Mission Brazil met the morning of April 30 to discuss how
to further prepare the Mission in response to the H1N1 flu outbreak.
The group will meet again at 9:00 am on May 4 to review new
developments and to determine if precautions at each post are

BRASILIA 00000538 002.2 OF 002


adequate to the current situation.

SOBEL