01 July 2009

Sharing is Caring

My email from the Warden and I feel in the mood to share…

This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens to the latest information regarding human cases of 2009-H1N1 Influenza, sometimes referred to as swine flu or novel H1N1. As anticipated, the H1N1 influenza virus has arrived in Kenya.  The first confirmed case of H1N1 infection in Kenya was tested at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control laboratory in Nairobi and the National Influenza Center laboratory (staffed in part by the U.S. Walter Reed Project).  The case was announced Monday by the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health.    There is no cause for panic.  The disease, thus far, has proven far less virulent than originally expected, and the vast majority of patients who get infected with novel H1N1 flu have a mild illness that does not require hospitalization and resolves on its own.

The Government of Kenya is currently screening arriving passengers at Kenyatta Airport.  The nature and breadth of screening have may be modified following the identification of the novel H1N1 flu in Kenya. Arriving passengers may be asked about flu symptoms, contact with a patient with flu symptoms, and point of embarkation.  We urge arriving passengers to cooperate with local health authorities.  Travelers to other countries should check with that country’s local or home Consular office for information before planning travel.

There is currently no restriction on travel into the United States.

Any questions or concerns about influenza or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional.  Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors can be found on our website at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/.

Please note that the Embassy is NOT advising Americans in Kenya to depart.  At this time, the Embassy advises that Americans review the guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

For more information on U.S. Government policy during a pandemic, and for travel safety information, please see the State Department’s “Pandemic/Avian Influenza” and “Remain in Country” fact sheets on www.travel.state.gov.  Further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, can be found at  the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website athttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/, the U.S. Government pandemic influenza website athttp://www.pandemicflu.gov, and the World Health Organization website athttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html.

U.S. citizens may also call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the United States for the latest travel information.  The Office of Overseas Citizens Services can be reached from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday, by calling 1-888-407-4747 from within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling (202) 501-4444 from other countries.