Lessons Learned from Taoyuan International Airport’s Response to Novel Influenza A (H1N1)

Shing-Tsyi Liang

2009 Vol.25 NO.9

Correspondence Author: Shing-Tsyi Liang


On April 27, 2009, the Taiwan Government announced novel influenza A (H1N1) as one of a Category I notifiable diseases. During the period between April 27, 2009 and June 19, 2009 when novel influenza A (H1N1) was announced as a Category IV notifiable disease, the Taoyuan International Airport has enhanced their quarantine procedures. Taoyuan International Airport Health and Security Working Group was also transferred to Taoyuan International Airport H1N1 Influenza Epidemic Command Center in order to manage the emergent situations, and integrate quarantine affairs with all related agencies in the airport. During this period, the command center has set standard working procedures and protocols about the quarantine. These procedures included the on-board quarantine, designated anchor site quarantine, fever screening, isolation of suspicious cases, follow-up of passenger contacts, health education for inbound and outbound passengers, and enhancing disease prevention measures of the airport; these measures were improvement of personal protection of the airport staff, monitoring of fever and possible outbreaks in each department, provision of disease control material, and preparation of pathway for patients. All these measures make the Taoyuan International Airport to meet the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and provide it with the ability of dealing with large-scale epidemics. Also, there are several practical problems that occurred in the process of fighting the disease, such as not having enough personnel to deal with various incident problems, not meeting the needs of the public media, many difficulties in following passenger contacts, and the departure control of being followed cases. The solutions for all these issues need to be prepared and suitable measures need to be taken for the future epidemics.
Keywords: novel influenza A (H1N1), quarantine, Taoyuan International Airport