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Philippines on alert to possible swine flu spread
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The Philippine authorities on Sunday said strict measures are ordered to be put in place to prevent the swine flu virus plaguing parts of Mexico and the United States from reaching the Philippine shores.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde told a local radio station that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave the directive to agricultural authorities after the World Health Organization declared the swine flu outbreak in parts of Mexico and the United States as a public health emergency.

He said the Department of Agriculture has put the imports of pork products under strict surveillance while the Department of Health has been on the lookout for arriving flight passengers with flu-like symptoms.

Agricultural Secretary Arthur Yap earlier also ordered the lift of restrictions for the use of swine influenza vaccine to encourage hog farmers to regularly vaccinate their pigs.

Health experts said the swine influenza can be transmitted through the air or through direct contact with an infected subject, either it was a sick pig or infected human.

(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2009)

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