x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE to open its own labs for swine flu

Three laboratories - in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah - will be developed to handle tests for infectious diseases, including swine flu.

ABU DHABI // Three laboratories - in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah - will be developed into reference laboratories to handle tests for infectious diseases, including swine flu, Dr Hanif Hassan, the Minister of Health, said yesterday. Tests conducted on the UAE's only confirmed case of swine flu, discovered on May 17, had to be carried out in England, Dr Hassan told members of the Federal National Council yesterday. He said there had been 28 suspected cases in the Emirates, mostly involving people in transit from North America. Yesterday a woman aged 34 and her five-year-old son, both suspected of carrying swine flu, were quarantined in Chennai after flying there from the US via Dubai, according to agency reports. Local and federal authorities here, including military hospitals, have more than five million doses of the vaccine for treating the virus known as H1N1. Airports in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have been equipped with scanners that identify travellers with fevers by detecting high body temperatures, and at least 38 more are expected to be installed in land, sea and air ports. "We have 350 quarantine rooms in the state hospitals, and there are teams to handle suspected cases," Dr Hassan said. He said passengers on flights from the US were required to provide contact information for use in the event a positive case was discovered on board. mhabboush@thenational.ae