Airports To Start Screening Passengers For Swine Flu Virus Symptoms


swine-fluWith the holiday season just a few weeks away, health officials fear the swine flu will pick up right along with air travel. New government guidelines are on their way, designed to help keep passengers healthy. This flu season, airport staff across the nation won’t just be screening for security threats. They’ll also be looking out for health threats – people who look like they may have the H1N1 virus.The government says that people traveling internationally may be screened for the H1N1 virus as they leave or enter the U.S.

“It feels a little bit overboard,” Stanford, Conn. resident Derek Ferguson said.

The government warns that some passengers may be asked to pass through a screening device, have their temperatures taken, answer questions about their health, and even be quarantined if someone on the flight shows symptoms of H1N1.

“I’m all for it, I really am,” Mount Vernon resident Rosa Raspaldo said. “Because – guaranteed – if people are coughing on the plane, all of those germs will be spread around.”

But the H1N1 virus isn’t just a danger in the skies. Buses and trains can also be a breeding ground for germs. Millions of riders climb aboard every day, and that has many taking precautions.

“I keep antiseptic in my purse and I use it all the time,” said New York City resident Rose Donato.

Donato is a daily commuter, and says she isn’t relying on others to take responsibility for her health.

“We’re in Grand Central – I’m sure there are people that are sick and are walking around, and are spraying their germs all over the place,” Donato said.

New York, along with other transportation agencies around the country, is posting signs reminding customers to keep their sneezes and coughs to themselves. It’s common sense advice that doctors echo.

“Get vaccinated, wash your hands frequently, and you’ve really done the most that almost anybody can do to protect against influenza,” Dr. Michael Phillips, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said.

The first doses of swine flu vaccine arrived earlier this week, but new polls show that many people don’t plan to get it. Flu shot or not, experts say that healthy habits will help make sure that, when you travel, germs don’t take the trip with you.

{CBS Broadcasting/Noam Newscenter}