Initial Evaluation on Screening of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) at International Ports in Taiwan

Jiun-Shian Kuo

2009 Vol.25 NO.9

Correspondence Author: Jiun-Shian Kuo


In response to the outbreaks of novel influenza A(H1N1) in Mexico, USA, and Canada since late April, 2009, Taiwan scaled up a series of international quarantine measures on April 26 to effectively reduce and slow down the importation of novel influenza A(H1N1) cases and to mitigate its impact on domestic disease control. However, these quarantine measures were promptly adjusted in response to the evolution of the global epidemic so that limited resources could be used efficiently. The adjustment methods are in fact in line with the recommendations later made by WHO and domestic experts.
The statistics show that, during the study period, the efficiency in finding cases from contacts with the same travel history or residential history as index cases is higher than that from contacts on board the same aircrafts as the index cases. The percentages of cases identified by quarantine screening, diagnosis of community physicians, and contact follow-up are 35.6%, 27.1%, and 37.3% of all imported cases, respectively. Cases identified among passengers screened out by quarantine measures and transferred to hospitals by quarantine officers account for 20.3% (12 cases) of all imported cases. Cases identified through quarantine-related activities (including cases screened out and transferred, cases screened out but advised to seek medical service on their own, and cases identified from contact follow-up) account for 54.2% (32 cases) of all imported cases. The imported cases were mainly identified among passengers coming from Thailand (47.5%) and USA (40.7%).
Keywords: novel influenza A(H1N1), quarantine, fever screening, imported cases